Twitter is text-messaging on steroids (born March 2006). Twitter uses the SMS protocol to deliver short (140 characters or less) messages to your phone; your IM account; your Twitter home or m.twitter.com (accessible when logged in); or a stand-alone Twitter application. You decide where you want to read your “tweets,” the name for each short message.
The Twitter service is free; messages sent to your cellphone may not be (depends on your cellular plan). My recommendation is to begin with the web-enabled Twitter home and branch out from there!
From the Twitter FAQ:
Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing? Bloggers can use it as a mini-blogging tool. Developers can use the API to make Twitter tools of their own. Possibilities are endless!
And it’s the possibilities that are interesting.
As envisioned, Twitter was not unlike Facebook status (before Facebook made the “is” in the “Kathy is…” prefix an option) … and not unlike LiveJournal, which was initially envisioned as a place for small groups of friends to share personal, “journal-like” entries with one another. As with the communications technologies that preceded them — telegraph, telephone, phonograph, Internet, web — the community created new ways to use the technology, ways not envisioned by the technologist/creator.
Of course, sometimes those personal notes can be, well, important. See this story about a Stanford student whose Twitter account helped get him out of jail. In Egypt.
I’m working out a taxonomy of genres – check it out! As with genres, this resource list is a work in progress! Add comments, please, if you have ideas for either genres or resources.
- Follow: < follow twitterID >. The key to making Twitter work for you. Social networks have no value when there’s no network! When you follow someone, their tweets (posts) will appear on your home page (or however you chose to read your tweets). You can also follow by clicking on the “follow me” link on their Twitter webpage (http://twitter.com/twitterID)
- Group Your Messages: < #hashtag >. Similar to tags on Flickr, hashtags are a means to “group” tweets around a topic. Hashtags were popularized during the 2007 San Diego fires. See hashtags.org for real-time tracking of Twitter hashtags.
- Send Public Message (aka “at message”): < @TwitterID >. You can send an “@” message to anyone on Twitter. These appear on the public timeline.
- Send Direct Message: <d TwitterID >. You can direct message people only if they are following you. Direct messages do not show up on the public timeline
- Track A Subject/Person: < track word > Very useful for those monitoring the twitterspace for organizational intelligence. Turn this off with < untrack word > More from the Twitter blog
- Twitter 101 – from Charlotte-Anne Lucas (via twitter)
- Twitter Fan Wiki – wiki developed by, and for, Twitter users
- Twitter Help – from the source
- Twitter In Plain English – Lee LeFever’s “Plain English” series of videos takes geek topics and makes them digestible by normal folks. In this video, he focuses on the initial Twitter concept of real-time updates to a small group of real-life friends.
How People Are Using Twitter
- 5 Ways to Use Twitter for Good from Lifehacker
- Movie & Television Social Media Marketing Using Twitter from eleven marketing
- The Benefits of Twitter For Bloggers from ProBlogger
- The Latest In Learning Fast: Edu-Twittering (tip) from Fast Company
- The Inspiration That Is Twitter (tip), from soup to nuts
- Twitter Is Paying My Rent, how journalist Marshall Kirkpatrick uses Twitter
- Twitter v Text Message List (tip) from QWU blog, a Rhode Island marketing firm
- Using Twitter To Support A Conference
- Why Short Is Tweet For The Blogging Community from the London Guardian
Twitter Clients (applications)
See a detailed list a http://twitter.pbwiki.com/Apps. A few highlights:
- Flock – a cross-platform “social web browser” that is powered by Mozilla (the guts of Firefox)
- Twhirl – a cross-platform, multi-account Twitter desktop client built with Adobe Air. Full-featured.
- Twitbin – a Firefox plugin that allows youto send and receive messages, from inside your firefox browser.
- MadTwitter (Windows) and Twitterrific – Twitter desktop client; not as full-featured as Twhirl
- TwitterPost – Mac only client
- Twobile (Touchscreen Windows Mobile 5) – brings desktop functionality to your mobile device
- Summize – real-time Twitter search. Examples: @steverubel,
- Twitterment – powered by Google
- TwitterSearch – basic search from David Troy
- Twitter Search – basic search powered by Google from Steve Rubel
- TwitStat – searchable, real time Twitter analytics
- TwitterTroll – real-time search, indexes tweets from the public timeline; features most popular search terms; by Brad Williams
- Communities – Twitter Fan Wiki guide to Twitter communities — to help you find “buds” to follow
- Hashtags.org – real-time tracking of Twitter hashtags.
- LoudTweets (tip) – ships Tweets to your blog (I’m a fan of the reverse process!)
- PoliTweets – follow presidential candidate mentions on Twitter
- Quotably – provides a threaded view of Twitter conversations
- ReTweetMe – reminder service
- Tweetclouds – Make a word cloud from a public Twitter stream or from free text
- TwitDir – a Twitter directory; top 100 updaters, top 100 favoriters, top 100 followers, etc
- TwitterCensus – poll the TwitterSpace
- Twitterholic – provides statistics on the top 100 people on Twitter based on number of followers (Barack Obama leads at the moment)
- TwitterMail – send and receive Tweets via email
- TwitterMap – up to 100 entries per map location, reflecting th most recent public updates in the last 12 hours are displayed.
- TwitterNotes – log in with Twitter account and begin taking notes; you can make your notes private (so that they do not appear on your public timeline)
- TwitterVision – real-time mashup of Twitter public timeline and Google Maps API