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Twitter

Friday, October 5th, 2007 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet
 
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Q:
What can you tell me about Twitter?

A:
As a matter of fact, I can tell you a lot about it! I actually just heard about Twitter the other day, but after checking it out for myself, I realized I have been missing out all this time. It’s a really cool Web site and after you all finish reading this article, I think you’re going to feel the same way. Alright, let’s get right into it!

Basically, Twitter is a new social networking Web site that is mainly referred to as a place you can go to micro-blog. So, what is micro-blogging, you ask? Well, it is a form of blogging where a user can write brief text updates about themselves instead of long, drawn out paragraphs. A micro-blog is usually 200 characters or less and when a user writes one, they can either choose to have it published for others to see or they can restrict it to just certain viewers. A micro-blog can even be submitted by various means, including text messages, instant messages, e-mails, the Web and so on.

And that’s where Twitter comes into play. At the present time, Twitter is probably the most well known micro-blogging site on the Web. It has been around since 2006, but it’s becoming more and more popular everyday. With Twitter, you can post micro-blogs about yourself right on their site. For example, some of the people who use Twitter like to comment about something they’re doing on a certain day, a TV show they’re watching, what they’re going to make for dinner, how they’re stuck in traffic, what upset them about their workday, etc. By browsing through the different posts, you’ll be able to see all of the interesting topics people write about. And that’s what makes Twitter so fun to visit!

So, if you think you might want to start using Twitter, you can visit their Web site here to get started. Once you get there, you will see a series of posts from other users, along with the time it’s been since they posted it. There are usually some that had just been posted like five seconds ago, which is pretty up to date if you ask me! Now, if you want to post your own micro-blogs, you will need to create a free account. To do so, click on the link in the top right hand corner that says “Join Twitter!” You just have to fill in a username, password and your e-mail address. When you’re ready, click on the button that says “I accept. Create my account!” and then log yourself in.

Once you’re a member, you can then start to post your own blogs (which are referred to as “tweets” on Twitter). You’ll be able to start your own buddy list as well. (This works in the same way as it does on MySpace or any other social networking sites you may be part of). Now, if you want to see other user’s posts or if you want them to see yours, they have to be on your friend list. So, if you know of anyone else who is using Twitter, you can search for them with the search box at the top of the homepage. You just need to know their username. Or, if you don’t know anyone who’s using Twitter yet, tell all your friends about it! It’s just an easy way to keep up to date with what your friends are doing throughout their day and vice versa. I use it all the time with some of my college friends. I don’t get to talk to them very often, because we’re all so busy, but we all find time to send each other tweets and it makes our communication all the more fun!

Now, I know Twitter may not appeal to some of you, but if you’ve been wanting to set up your own blog, Twitter is an easy way to do so. It’s hassle free and you’re not obligated to anything. Twitter is perfect if you’re not looking for anything too dramatic like MySpace or Facebook. It has a simple interface to work with and it’s just something different to try. Again, here’s the link you need to sign up for Twitter and start using it. Once you get to the site, I think you’ll better understand everything I’ve talked about today. Just sign up, log in and begin blogging!

Oh, one more thing: Twitter also comes with a few add ons if you’re interested in that kind of thing. Some of the more popular ones are Twitterrific, TwitterVision, TwitterMap and TwitterSearch. You can check all of those out with the links I have provided for you. They’re just four neat little programs you can add to your Twitter experience. All in all, Twitter is something unique and if you’re looking for a new way to express yourself (without going into too much detail), give Twitter a try. I really think you’re going to like it. I know I already do!

~ Erin

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