What is Twitter and Why Do I Care?
Is this a question you’re asking yourself?
I wrote about Twitter in Sept 2007 when I first became “Twitterpaited”. Since that time Twitter has grown to become the most talked about web technology since Beanie Babies discovered eBay or Google went public. Today, the Oprah Show demo’d Twitter but still left many wondering “What the heck is Twitter, and why do I care”.
Well, the fact is, most of you probably don’t care. For information junkies like myself who are online most of the day, Twitter is a great tool. For people struggling to raise a family or others who have a more active life, Twitter may not have a lot of importance.
Twitter is often called a “Micro-blogging” service but what’s that mean? Well, folks can type what ever is on their mind but with only 140 characters or less. There is plenty of value in Twitter but it all depends on who you follow and if you care what those people have to say. Some people think Twitter is only for mobile devices and while that’s one reason for the 140 characters it’s not just for iPhones and Blackberries.
The real value of Twitter can be had without joining Twitter or creating a name and password. It’s search.twitter.com. Using Twitter as a search engine will provide real-time information on news events along with opinions from around the world. The news and information you can find on search.twitter.com will not only beat Google, but will frequently beat the AP wire service. That’s one of the reasons you’ll find all your local TV stations and newspaper using and promoting Twitter.
If you want to give Twitter a try you can join and then follow me at http://www.twitter.com/billp. I don’t get any special credit for you joining but you’ll get to see what I babble about daily. You could be my 1000th follower.
If you’re looking for interesting people to follow, again I recommend using search.twitter.com. Type in a topic you’re interested in and you’ll see people talking about the same subject. If they sound intelligent, just click on their name and you’ll be able to follow their “tweets”. They’ll be notified you’re following them and there’s a good chance they’ll follow you back. It doesn’t mean you’re now best friends but you’ll be part global conversation. You can always unfollow or block someone if you don’t think they’re an appropriate part of your twitter community.
Like any internet service, privacy and security is something you should always keep in mind. Anything you type will be on the Internet forever. You may not want to trust a link that someone tells you to click on, and just because someone says it, doesn’t mean it’s true.