What is Twitter?

(I know this post is late to the ‘sphere – but it is my ezine for the week.)

Every year at the South by Southwest arts festival (aka SXSW) geeks of all stripes meet to greet and gawk. It is like Burning Man except you get to keep your clothes on. Everyone was agog at the launch of Twitter from the brains behind Odeo as well as one of the original brains behind Blogger. They took home an award, too.

Here’s how Twitter works:

  1. Every few minutes, hours or days you type in what you are doing – only 140 characters.
  2. Twitter broadcasts that out to your friends.

Twitter mimics other social networking features by allowing you to add other users to your friends list and you can follow what they are doing.

I’m not sure exactly what in the world the use of this is supposed to be. It is sort of cool at first and fun to snark at. But it can become annoying as your needy friends feel the need to alert you every type they blink their eyes.

It is fun to have a conversation among a group of friends via Twitter but the danger is that though it feels like a tight conversation, it is being viewed by everybody. Kinda like if you forget to turn off your mic before you go to the washroom.

I can’t wait until the blog/ping spam guys get a hold of this.

Of course the blogs are chewing it up and it has already been featured in major newspapers and news sites.

How to Start Using Twitter

  1. Go signup at Twitter.com.
  2. Type in what you are doing.
  3. Click Update.
  4. Convince your friends to join.
  5. Click here to add me to your friends: http://twitter.com/friendships/create/1366401

Other tips:

Mac users can download Twitterriffic to have their tweets directly on the Desktop.

Windows can download Twitteroo to do the same thing.

You can also tell Twitter to send alerts to your favorite instant messenging network (AIM, MSN, Yahoo!, etc). Or cellphone. Or Blackberry. Or… you get the idea.

This entry was posted in General on by .

About Andy Wibbels

Andy is an award-winning blogger and author of the book Blogwild! A Guide for Small Business Blogging. His work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Entrepreneur, Wired, Business Week, Forbes, and other national and international media. He was worked at several San Francisco startups including Get Satisfaction, SAY Media, InMobi, Keas, and Mindjet. Currently, Andy is Director of Marketing at Lucidworks. Tw · Fb · G+ · Li

8 thoughts on “What is Twitter?

  1. Ernie

    Oh my god; were you at SXSW too? Is that conference so ginormous now that it’s practically impossible for people to run into each other anymore?

    Reply
  2. Rokchic

    Great helpful little article for those new to Twitter. Thanks! I have only just signed up to Twitter today… still getting the hang of it – but feel free to add me if you want: twitter.com/rokchic28
    Cheers! From down under in New Zealand…!

    Reply

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