50 Uses for Twitter

twitter Awhile back, I’d started a list of "101 Uses for Twitter", but never seemed to get past 27 for some reason.  Of course, it had been last autumn since I brainstormed on it.  While I don’t think that I personally could come up with 101 uses, I’m sure there are many more than that.

So I thought about this again for awhile this morning and did think of 50 uses that I’ve seen or participated in.  So here is a list of 50 uses for Twitter, I’m thinking of more as I write this, so maybe there is a chance at that "101" post sometime.

  1. Keep in touch with my Twitter peeps friends
  2. General news item links
  3. News & links on my industry or area of interest
  4. Fast answers to quick questions
  5. Professional networking
  6. Links to nearly everything
  7. Marketing
  8. Personal branding
  9. Corporate & product branding
  10. Haiku’s
  11. Making friends
  12. Feel "plugged into the web and it’s various personalities"
  13. Replacement for instant messaging applications
  14. Chat tool
  15. Promotional tool for my blog
  16. Providing new reading opportunities
  17. Fun stuff!
  18. Meeting new, interesting people to communicate with
  19. Collecting links
  20. Finding sites related to social networking
  21. "To listen in on my contacts rants"
  22. A web worker "water cooler"
  23. Micro-blogging
  24. A personal "techmeme"
  25. Lightweight text broadcasting tool
  26. Easy way to annoy your spouse
  27. Promotional tool for my brand
  28. Ranting
  29. Idea generator
  30. No-cost non-profit announcement system
  31. Bring a sense of community to your home office
  32. Tracking status of friends
  33. Status message generator for other social networks
  34. Frustration generator (at least when it is down)
  35. Thought publisher
  36. Promotional tool for my organization
  37. Following public discussions
  38. Travel guide
  39. Controlled discussion between friends
  40. Uncontrolled discussion between friends with viewers
  41. List generator
  42. Meeting agenda generator
  43. Coffee shop locator
  44. People search
  45. Promotional tool for my company
  46. Product reviews
  47. Trip planner
  48. Backchannel for events
  49. Feedback generator
  50. Authentication mechanism

So what are you uses for Twitter?  I’m sure I didn’t capture them all, so add your ideas and things you use Twitter for below.

Brainstorming – Learning the Power of the Mind Map

Post_IdeasSo I was working on some planning for various things when I ran across this post by fellow blogger Joanna Young. It really got my attention on planning and generating ideas.

I’d heard a lot about mind-mapping and the great results that many accomplish by using the technique, but for some reason over the years, I’d never tried it out. Sure the odd brainstorming session at work, but nothing to promote my own agenda. Aha! Another tool to use for my own purposes!

So being the typical geek I am, off I went to find a simple, inexpensive (read: free) tool to do this with. I’ve found a few to try and will do a roundup of what I found – but won’t try to do a review by any means. However, the consensus from my Twitter friends is that pen & paper rules the day.

With that said, here are some mind-mapping sites & software that my Twitter query came up with:

There may be one or two I somehow missed – but that’s what I find in my Replies & DM pages.

I’d like to thank Twitter friends @inkedmn, @andytinkham, @suzemuse, @joannayoung, @amypalko, @rosasay, and @pfhyper for their suggestions and sharing their successes with me! You guys are great.

I happened to work through two mind maps in an hour or so that got a great start on direction on business plans, and some post ideas. Have you tried mind-mapping? What were your results? What tools did you find that work best?

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This Thing Called Twitter – Recap

This past Saturday (May 10th) I had a chance to facilitate an unconference session with Peter Fleck (@pfhyper on Twitter) at MinneBar on the University of Minnesota campus.  While Peter and I hadn’t planned it out long in advance, and we had technical difficulties at the beginning, namely to overhead equipment, it went pretty well.

The part I really enjoyed was the interaction.  Peter and I both wanted to start a group discussion, and that’s exactly what happened.  There were a lot of great questions from both experienced and new Twitter users, and many people shared their perspectives and ideas on using Twitter.  It reinforced the idea that Twitter is just at it’s earliest stages of uptake.

What I really want to do from Saturday is to thank everyone that stopped by and joined the conversation.  It was great to meet so many people here in the Minneapolis Web2 scene, and I look forward to talking more with you on Twitter and elsewhere.  Don’t hesitate to let me know if you have questions or ideas to talk about – you can find me on Twitter as @RickMahn.

Also, since I didn’t grab the names off the board in the room, I’d like to invite anyone who was there to share their Twitter name.  Just leave them in the comments and others from the session can find them and connect with you.  Any other questions or interest in social web tools that you’d be interested in talking about?  It might be worth putting something together if enough people are interested.

Evolving Twitter Usage

twitter As is usually the case, the way we use tools changes over time.  I’m wondering if how I use Twitter is going to change because of some of the issues that have been discussed this weekend.  Probably not, I’d been starting to change how I use Twitter about a week or two ago.

While Twitter has had some problems in the past and certainly is having another round of troubles, I too have problems that need fixing.  I’ve found that the way I’ve used the service in the past does not scale well, and clients such as Twhirl have added to the problem.

Twhirl It’s TOO EASY to keep flipping over to my Twhirl window whenever it “pings’ at me, scrolling through up to 20 messages to see what’s going on.  Like some mad Pavlovian subject, I have to see what’s been updated.  Now that FriendFeed is also in my Twhirl stream, it’s gotten much, much worse.

So I’m changing how I use Twitter.  I’m shutting off the notifications for the bulk of the Twitter and FriendFeed updates.  I’ll keep notifications on for Replies and Direct Messages.  I’ll check in when I have a few minutes and review what’s in the last page or two on the website, but that’s the extent of it.

FriendFeed Twitter has become extremely important as a social and communications tool, but it’s also become too big of a time sink to keep on top of during the day.  I know several people who shut it off during the main part of the workday – something I’ve put off as much as possible – and tune back in after work hours.

I still encourage everyone to contact me through Twitter first and foremost.  A DM in Twitter will get directly to me (they are all forwarded to my phone) and I respond to every Reply, so don’t think I’m not monitoring it if you don’t see me Twittering a lot.

My Twitter Profile: http://twitter.com/rickmahn

My FriendFeed Profile: http://friendfeed.com/rickmahn

I’m curious what techniques you may be using to manage your Twitter stream?  What can you share with our Twitter friends to help ease the volume of information that speeds past?

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Selling Twitter accounts – what’s this b.s.?

twitter So Andrew Baron has his Twitter account for sale on ebay?  Can anyone tell me what the point of this exercise is?  Other than a money grab that is.

I mean, who among his followers would keep following the account when they discover it’s not actually him?  So that negates the value of his follower list – without that the account has no monetary value.

Heck, any one of us can go and build a “Fake Andrew Baron” Twitter account and follow the same people that the real one does.  Then go sell it on eBay for half the price the “real” account goes for.  In the end, it’s essentially the same account.

Just for fun, I should start creating “Fake <famous blogger here>” accounts, following the same people that the real person does and sell them on eBay.  The absurdity of it all just stuns me to the core.

Andrew, if you’re that hard up for cash, maybe you should take up a paper route… it builds character, at least it did in my case. 😛

What’s your take on this?  Seriously?

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