Yeah, if you don’t want to know when I go to restroom or what I ate for lunch, then Twitter isn’t for you.
Just kidding, Twitter is far more then a celebrity beeper and far more then a beefed up Facebook status updater. It is micro-blogging, a file sharing site. Okay, it is best explained best through an example. So Spring Break is coming up and you and all your friends are going to the far corners of the United States. You want to keep up with people so you follow all of them of Twitter. I’ll tweet about going to share the Gospel on the beaches of Daytona, Weezie will tweet about how awesome his road trip was out to his girlfriend, Lauren will tweet about all the cool shows that she is going to in Atlanta, and Tyler will tweet the latest score to you from the SEC tournament. So it isn’t a mindless item, it is a useful tool in staying up to date with friends, family, and the occational celeb (I recommend Lance Armstrong.)
Besides the social aspect, Twitter is a great way to share. Not “pass the peas” type sharing but more of “I just fell off my chair I laughed so hard at this Youtube video” sharing. Thats why you will find a lot of blue “http://” links through out peoples tweets. I share interesting articles I have read, new posts I have written, awesome videos, or a site that I find cool. For this type of tweeting check out Higgie.
Okay, Patrick I follow you so far but what is this # and RT and @ stuff?
Twitter has this abbreviation language which includes all these #, @, and RTs. The reason they do is this because you can only tweet 140 characters at a time, hence the term micro-blogging. So the trick is to get across what you want to say or include in under 140 characters, it is harder then you think.
The # is called a “hashtag” and is used when you want to contribute to an on going converstaion between a lot of users (known and unknown.) Here is the example, I love watching the Winter Olympics and I know others do as well, so I tweet out about how excited I am about it with the hashtag “#vancouver2010.” When I do this I can click on that hashtag and see the whole conversation.
The RT is called a “retweet.” You do this when you want to tweet what someone has already has said. It makes better sence when you retweet about a give-a-way or a tweet that needs to get out to more people.
The @ is called an “at reply.” This is how you shout about to some one. Just slip in the @ symbol before you type thier Twitter name and it will show up on their feed. This is how you have a “personal converstaion” with another person. (Note that I didn’t say private converstion, that is what DM or direct message is used for.)
Once again this is only a fraction of the craziness that Twitter provides. If I have peaked your interest of just did a horrible job explaining it, Twitter has a great reference section you need to check out.
All in all, Twitter is a simple site that has so many possibilities. As cheesy as it sounds, Twitter is the future. Businesses have began to pioneer marketing strategies via Twitter, News Channels have used them for more readers, and everyday people have just started to have fun with it.
I enjoy it and have fun. Be sure to have fun with it as well!
Oh yeah, by the way follow me @TeasdaleJr.
Next Friday I’ll blog about Blogging. Ha! See ya . . .