When most people who don’t use Twitter (let’s call them “normals”) find out I have a Twitter account they always ask, “What do you use it for?”. Most of the information here is meant for “normals”. The twitterati will find most of this information old hat.
Twitter is a feed of information from friends or other people/services I find interesting. I scan this feed for anything that I may find useful
Because the information is usually “real-time” Twitter is a great way to keep on top of things that are happening now.
The half-life of a “tweet” is usually pretty small. That last tweet above is probably terribly old but at the time I wrote this post it was hot. Tweets are the freshest of fresh news and like fresh mozzarella it’s best consumed ASAP before it gets hard and dry. The quality of the tweets in your Twitter feed is going to be directly proportional to the quality of the people you follow in Twitter. The people I follow come from many backgrounds from technology, news, and the arts. I also subscribe to friends and other acquaintances because sometimes Twitter is the best place to get real-time updates on what’s happening with them.
No matter where they are in the world. Twitter is an amazing tool.
You can read tweets right at http://twitter.com but most people use a Twitter client on their desktop. I happen to use Tweetie on my Mac. Twitter is also great on mobile devices since you can read and post right from the palm of your hand when you are on the go. I use the official Twitter client on my iPhone when I’m on the road or just standing in line somewhere. There are a lot of Twitter clients out there. You should try out a bunch and use the one that’s right for you.
Twitter is read/write. So besides consuming the information in my Twitter feed I post often. I try to post things that people may find interesting.
Sometimes my posts are just what I’m doing or where I happen to be at the time.
Other times its just for fun.
That last tweet, besides containing an embedded link to a photo, shows off how Twitter is integrated to other applications. Twitter is everywhere and can be integrated into all kinds of sites and tools. My tweets are automatically sent to Facebook.
Twitter is remarkable but like all tools born of the Internet you have to spend some time working with it before you’ll get any utility out of it. There is no wrong way to use Twitter although if you post too much nonsense you may find your posts ignored and yourself very lonely. The worst thing you can do is ignore it before you’ve given it a decent test drive. So do some research and give it a go.