Saturday, March 28, 2009

TWITTERLY AMAZING!

It is a rapidly changing world we live in, particularly in the technology community!!!! The past couple of months I learned the value of social media twitterapplications such as Facebook (www.facebook.com) and LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com). It has been an enlightening journey, but folks, quite simply, I have much to learn!

My latest quest is to investigate an application called “Twitter.” (www.twitter.com) Briefly, Twitter is a “micro blog” service for people to communicate with one another, staying connected through the exchange of quick, frequent messages. People write short updates, called “tweets” of 140 characters or fewer. These messages are posted to the user profile also known as the personal blog, sent to a user’s followers and are searchable on Twitter search.

The first time I logged onto Twitter the sensation was akin to being in a classroom learning a foreign language! The communications appeared somewhat cryptic and confusing to say the least. With some persistence I quickly discovered Twitter really is a special application with tremendous potential. Undoubtedly, I am a “Twookie” (a twitter term for a Twitter Rookie) but here is a high level overview of my findings so far:

  • Using search features, a user can literally find valuable information on any topic and select individual tweets to save as bookmarks called “Favorites.” Bookmarks may be retrieved on demand and forwarded to other users or other social media applications. (i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn)
  • Tweets can re be “re-tweeted” (called an RT) to followers in the user’s online community. Those followers can then share that same message with their followers. So a single tweet can reach thousands of people literally within seconds.
  • In a tweet a user can include hyperlinks to any site on the Internet, such as articles of interest, Photographs, music or videos.
  • There are Twitter chat rooms, accessible through a related application called Tweetchat (www.tweetchat.com) identified by “Hash Tags” (#). Users may have real time interactions, or chat sessions, with people having similar interests. For example, I attend a scheduled chat session twice a week with a group called “#eventprofs” (Event Professionals)
  • A Twitter application is available for cell phones and other PDA’s that will enable a user to “tweet on the fly.” This feature has some extremely powerful benefits! Imagine sitting in a Keynote Session at a large conference with thousands of people. Attendees tweet their questions and comments directly to the speaker using their cell phone. Those same tweets are posted on a screen(s) at the front of the room in real time. Twitter is already being used in this manner!

This article only scratches the surface of Twitter’s capabilities, but one thing is certain, this technology is here to stay and will only evolve further. I am excited about what lies ahead. I hope to see you out there in Twitterland!!!! Contact Me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MichaelMcCurry

Follow Michael McCurry on Twitter

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