I have a friend (a live in-the-flesh kind of friend) who recently signed up for a Twitter account. What was his first Tweet?
To keep with a recent trend here at PoC, here’s my quick list to answer the question: Why Twitter?
- Twitter allows me to search and find people who share my same interests: the MYP, the Los Angeles Clippers, or ramen. I can then follow these people and see if there is more that we have in common. I can also use Twitter Search to follow current events as they happen.
- Twitter is an open mic to my PLN. People have actively chosen to follow my updates so they think I have something of value to say. While it is a public proclamation, only those who are really interested are listening.
- Twitter is a pro-active resource. People I follow are sending out things that interest them which in turn interests me. Some think Twitter is the new RSS feed reader.
And another quick list on how to get the most out of Twitter:
- Use a third party app like Twhirl, TweetDeck, or TwitterFox instead of the web interface. It’s easier to keep track of all your tweets that way.
- Use Twitter Search to find people who are discussing things you are interested in.
- Use Mr. Tweet to help you find people to follow.
- Once you find somebody who you want to follow, check out who that person is following. Is there anybody in that list you’d like to follow as well?
- When somebody starts following you, check out their recent tweets to get an idea if they are somebody you’d like to follow in return.
When I first started using Twitter (I’m @chamada), I was more than a bit skeptical. But now I don’t think I could live without it. It takes a while for your Twitter network to reach that critical mass and, like everything else, you get out only what you put in. You can lurk and observe the conversation, or you can particpate and become part of the conversation.
As for my answer to why use Facebook and Twitter? To me, Facebook is for friends and family. Twitter is my Personal Learning Network; it’s a tool that I use to connect with people all around the world who share common interests. Both are becoming increasingly indispensable in how I communicate, but for completely separate reasons.