Thursday, April 30, 2009

Just what is twitter anyway?

Twitter is the buzz word of the moment, its the big new thing that's going to change all the rules or so they say. Don't get me wrong I love Twitter and everything it stands for, no ads (yet) and freedom to post what you like (for the time being).

But there seems a fashion for just dropping Twitter into a conversation because its a new word. Although in Sheffield, my home city, its been used for years to describe 'to witter', which to be honest is a pretty good description of what most people do on it!

The question most asked is 'Just what is Twitter anyway' followed shortly by 'I just don't get it'.

My take on it is this: Twitter is no new thing, it's just a new website which is a really easy way to communicate with people and spread ideas. People are very used to texting, which means for most people that you keep your messages short and to the point, Twitter forces you to do that by restricting your message to 140 characters, including spaces.

So you use Twitter like any other communication tool, make sure your messages make sense, are polite and to the point.

As to who you follow, well that up to you. If you just want to follow your friends great, if you want to follow Stephen Fry (everybody does) that's fine too. Who follows you well that's up to you as well. Like any online community there are plenty of spammers and plenty of people just wanting to collect followers but ultimately if you don't want them to follow you then you can block them of if your such a private person then you can allow only certain people to follow you.

Really Twitter is no big deal, its definitely nothing to be scared of, in fact I think its a lot of fun and has loads of really great uses. Best way to to find out 'just what Twitter is' is to sign up and see for yourself.

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