How I use Twitter

Some of you reading this may be asking, “What is Twitter?”

Twitter in it’s simplest form is a micro-blogging service where users post their day-to-day events in their lives. All post are kept in 140 characters or less, so they can fit within a text message. Beyond that, you can choose to follow other users and even interact with them, sending them messages directly.

When I first signed up to the service, I was skeptical about it. My thought was, “Why would I want to do this?” But, I started anyway and found myself quickly hooked on the service.

Many of my first followed users were in the design field. But this quickly spread into other areas:

News – One of the areas this service has gained an incredible level of use was when news outlets signed up. From my local newspaper, The Pensacola News-Journal, or bigger outlets like CNN or the BBC, news can be passed along fairly quickly, making your Twitter feed something like an RSS feed. In fact, that’s essentially how it works, as the websites of these sources are linked up to the RSS feeds on the site through something like Twitterfeed, where they’re passed on to you.

Further, I’ve had a few cases in which I’ve heard about news before the news outlets reported it, as with the most recent Los Angeles earthquake or the attacks in India.

Politics – 2008 marked a change in politics in the way the politicians connected with the world. Barack Obama proved himself to be extremely tech savvy, using Twitter as one of his many tools. Mostly, it was to announce where he was speaking or to post a direct link to live video of an event, but occasionally, he (or a publicist) would take the time to answer a question. Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, and Al Gore are among the list of other public figures to have Twitter accounts.

Music – Many musicians are on Twitter. Questlove of the Roots is one of those that use it the most often that I’ve seen, as he’ll post frequent reports from his tour stops while chatting between other musicians and fans, giving a really good inside glimpse of what things are like in his eyes. Even more cool, one artist in particular, 88-Keys, took the time out to thank me for the kind words I’ve said about his newest album, “The Death of Adam”. Twitter has been a major way in which musicians can connect with their fans.

Sports – Much like the news outlets, sports news outlets have used Twitter in the same way. One of my favorites is the account for SLAM Magazine, a basketball publication, and it’s adjoining website, SLAMOnline [Twitter]. The man behind the account will hold conversation with you from time to time as well.

Tech – Again, much like news outlets, techies can get a good fill of tech news on Twitter. Scott Beale, the man behind The Laughing Squid, and Jason Snell of Macworld have accounts, as do many tech publications and blogs.

Bloggers – Bloggers and podcasters are using Twitter a lot. If you see a blog nowadays, it probably has a Twitter account attached to it. My boy, Owen JJ Stone aka Ohdoctah has an account, along with Justine “iJustine” Ezarik and Digg founder Kevin Rose. As of today, this blog is now hooked up to Twitter, also.

So, how do I use Twitter? Basically, in combination of all the things I’ve mentioned above. Everything from my blog updates, to my daily events, to my random thoughts are posted throughout the day.

If you’re on Twitter, how do you use it? If you’re not on Twitter, feel free to sign up and give it a try and feel free to follow me in the process. Twitter is extremely accessible, allowing you to update through their site or via cell phone, or through any of the numerous Twitter clients available here.

Happy tweeting!

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~ by Steve L. on December 7, 2008.

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