Twitter and Why I Use It

I’m sure by now most of you have heard of Twitter, it is very big now. I first mentioned twitter back in October of last year, then again in January when I was in Vegas, and finally in my article about social networks and their importance. So I have been using Twitter for quite some time, but recently it has really caught on. Even the root of all evil is using it. I really enjoy Twitter, I have found a ton of useful information on it and it makes it easy to see what my friends are up to.

What is Twitter?
Well in my eyes Twitter is a mico-blogging platform. Unlike a regular blog where you can write a long post on Twitter you are limited to 140 characters, so you need to make it short and sweet. Many people use it as an update system of what they are currently doing. Just like any other social networking platform you have friends which “follow” you. If someone is following you they get your updates. You can also reply to someone’s updates, it’s just like having a conversation. If you still don’t understand Twitter then here is a video that gives a better explanation than I did.

Why Do I Use It?
I first joined Twitter because many people in my favorite podcasts were using it and it gave me a way to keep updated on new shows and also what they were up to. Since Twitter has grown I follow a good amount of people now from friends to people I do business with. Even my old roommate from college uses Twitter, I hadn’t talked to him in a few years and now since he started following me on Twitter we have reconnected. My local news station even uses Twitter to send out news stories, so I don’t even have to watch the local news.

Twitter also allows you to have a conversation with someone you probably would never talk to. All of the big names are on there, Kevin Rose, Jason Calacanis, and Scoble. So it is a very good networking tool. Also to me it is very interesting to see what these people are up to. With things like TwitPic you are even able to post pictures directly to Twitter from your phone with ease.

From a marketing standpoint Twitter can be very useful too. Right now I have 180 followers, which is an audience to me. So if I post something new on ThinkComputers I can send out the link via Twitter and those 180 people will see it. I know 180 people is not a lot but many people have over 1,000 friends. The more followers you get the more powerful Twitter can be for you.

Twitter Apps
Twitter is web based so all you have to do is go to the website to see your friend’s updates and to post an update, but you don’t want to have to sit on the website and hit refresh every 5 minutes to see the updates. There are a ton of third party applications for Twitter, I have used a ton since I have been with Twitter for so long. The one that really stands out to me is twhirl. I wanted something that was visually appealing, but also very functional, twhirl is that. Built on the Adobe Air platform it works great, and gives me easy access to my friend’s updates and allows me to easily post an update without even having to go to the twitter website.

Now you might not be able to be at a computer at all times that is why Twitter allows you to send updates via mobile txt, but if you have an iPhone there is a great app called Mobile Twitter. It has TwitPic built in, so say you are out to dinner you can take a picture of your dinner use Mobile Twitter to post an update and upload the picture to TwitPic.

Follow Me!
If you want to know what I’m up to make sure you follow me on Twitter. I will be doing a follow up post on another really cool Twitter related project that I have been using lately.