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Understanding Twitter

Written By: Gary on March 16, 2008 3 Comments

So I’ve really been trying to use Twitter more. I read and tweet more at my computer than when I’m out. When I’m out I tweet some but don’t generally read. I do have it set to get a text message on my phone automagically if someone tweets my name. If you don’t know what Twitter is:

  • You can see what I tweet. All my personal blog posts get tweeted automatically.
  • You can see who I follow with twitter.
  • You can “follow me” (but you have to set up a free account with them) and get all my tweets sent to your cell phone so you can see what I’m thinking about an blogging about.
  • There is a nice mobile interface and you can even subscribe via RSS.

    I really got on the blogging boat late because I didn’t get it, but once I started I was hooked immediately. This isn’t working for me yet, but I’m still trying. On GeekBrief I saw the folks at CommonCraft created a video called Twitter in Plain English and it’s a pretty good explanation with interesting animation.

    But it still feels like Instant Messenger (IM) to me, but only 140 characters. It’s definitely more than IM, but it really just feels like the next step in its evolution. The clients feel like IM, and using the web interface at Twitter fells more and more like a web chat client.

    The biggest difference is that you direct your message to everyone in your group, not to a specific person. So occasionally you see a comment directed to someone else that you never saw the preceding comment, so then you can go see what they said and see if it’s someone else that interests you. You can send direct messages, but I don’t think that’s very common and I can never remember the command (it’s “D TwitterUserName TheText“).

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    3 Responses to “Understanding Twitter”

    1. ajooja says on: 17 March 2008 at 11:21 am

      I don’t know if I like Twitter or not. I do it but I haven’t quite bought in to the process yet.

    2. Sarcasmom says on: 17 March 2008 at 6:58 pm

      I don’t Twitter, or even Tweet. I am sure I would love it, which is why I won’t get into it.There aren’t enough hours in the day now.

    3. Jean-Francois Noel says on: 2 April 2008 at 11:07 pm

      It still feel like IM for me too. But once in a while I’ll see conversation start because of a tweet followed by a bunch of replies. In the last week this happened to me about kiva and kml.

      The other feature I really enjoy is track. You send track [keyword] in your IM and get a permanent search in the public timeline. If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s great at least for uncommon terms.

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