For the past two weeks or so I’ve been using Twitter; and up until the beginning of this week, I was struggling to understand it’s relevance. Then the light bulb when on. When I was in the fog trying to “get it”, Twitter seemed to be a jabbering hoard of irrelevant messages between strangers. Sometimes, it is that – but when you start using the service from the perspective that you are updating people you know on what you’re currently doing, it really comes into its own as a useful service.
Twitter is an interesting social presence service that allows a user to simply and quickly convey what they are doing at any given time. As people add each other as friends, you begin to see the rhythms in their day – when they’re available, when they’re hard at work, when they’re having fun, etc… The thing I’m trying to convey on this point is that many people who you know about via the blogosphere become more personable, more accessible, whether you interact more because of it is irrelevant. Because Twitter brings more personality to participants, it becomes a powerful tool for social interaction in an age where we increasingly isolate ourselves from each other.
There are many, many great posts and articles in the blogosphere about Twitter, and I’ve linked to several below that I believe capture what Twitter is about, or at least the perceptions of it’s power user base. Overall the enthusiasm and fun found in the Twitter community is undeniable and unlike any other web-service or social tool I’ve every used before.
Some Twitter community conventions to take note of:
- Use ‘@username’ when addressing someone specifically in a group
- Use TinyURL (http://tinyurl.com) when posting a link
Twitter Oriented Tools & Solutions:
- Twitter Tools – a WordPress plug-in currently being developed (Alex King)
- Twapper – a WAP-based service to monitor Twitter on your phone! (30 Boxes)
- Twitterific – a Twitter client for the Mac
- Post to Twitter – A FireFox search tool for posting to twitter!
- Twitter Search – A custom Twitter search engine (Steve Rubel)
- Twitter Fan Wiki – WOW!
Input from the blogosphere on Twitter:
- Andy Carvin: Can Twitter Save Lives?
- Robert Scoble: Research is great, but Twitter is shipping…
- Steve Rubel: Twittering, Peers vs. Pros: Who’s Faster On News?, A Basic Twitter Search Engine,
- mayflower hill: Twitter
- Steven Fettig: I hate bandwagons… yet I jump on them all the time; Twitter & del.icio.us
- Ross Mayfield: Twitter Tips the Tuna
- Anil Dash: Consider Twitter
- mamamusings (Liz Lawley): Why Twitter Matters
- Brian Solis: Twitter is Instant “Anywhere” Messaging
- Slacker Manager: The Several Habits of Wildly Successful Twitter Users
- 30 Boxes: Introducing Twapper!
- Betsy Weber: Camtasia twittercast – (starts playing immediately, appropriate while in the office)
- Alex King is building a WordPress/Twitter integration plug in: Twitter Tools Road map
- Iconfactory (For the Max) – Twitterific