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Convergence 2008 Digital Marketing and Communications Forum

The Power of Twitter

May 8th, 2008 @ 11:46am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

If you haven’t got your head around the concept of blogging, your mind might be blown with the latest term: microblogging. To those on Facebook, think “status updates”. Sites like Twitter, Jaiku and Pownce (just to name a few and not including all the video ones out there) allow folks to update their contacts or followers using brief 140 character max. messages. To better explain it, here’s another great video from CommonCraft.

The “power of Twitter” is pretty vast. Last night we were out having dinner and John put a call out on Twitter for people to join us, a short time later we were graced with Tanya‘s presence, which was super fun.

When I was recording my bit for the Lab with Leo I Twittered that I was “backstage” and within 45 seconds Leo came out from the studio to meet me and shake my hand.

bringing people together

Most recently, Nadia from Meme Labs Twittered this news story… about Twitter.

Buck, a graduate student from the University of California-Berkeley, was in Mahalla, Egypt, covering an anti-government protest when he and his translator, Mohammed Maree, were arrested April 10.

On his way to the police station, Buck took out his cell phone and sent a message to his friends and contacts using the micro-blogging site Twitter.

The message only had one word. “Arrested.”

Within seconds, colleagues in the United States and his blogger-friends in Egypt — the same ones who had taught him the tool only a week earlier — were alerted that he was being held. [CNN]

People have various reasons for using Twitter, whether they want to meet up with other folks in the area, share a news story, use it to syndicate their blog posts, do a poll, have pointless battles, ask questions, or share what they ate for lunch that afternoon. Though sometimes I get a bit of a “chat room” feel when I see people sending endless messages back and forth, I certainly value having this tool at my disposal.

Two things of note: You can get intuitive clients that will bring in your Twitter feed so you don’t have to update from the website ie. Twhirl (for PC) or Twitterific (for Mac). Also, if your updates aren’t locked or “private” they are fully available in a Google search, meaning anything you say in Twitter, doesn’t stay in Twitter.

  • Twitter vs Jaiku – Chris Pirillo
  • Leo Laporte Leaves Twitter for Jaiku – Robert Scoble
  • Pownce vs Twitter – Mostly Lisa

  • Current contests on Miss604.com

    11 comments

    1. Tyler Ingram says:

      I didn’t know about the Google indexing of twitter. How far back can it go? I assume it can either index on http://www.twitter.com/ or via the Public Timeline?

    2. Raul says:

      I *heart* Twitter. Although I’m a bit scared now. Since everything I say on Twitter will NOT stay on Twitter, I might as well start being a bit shy…. NOT ;) Hehehehehe. Great post. I probably should just Tweet “HELP” right about now ;), feeling so drowned in work.

    3. John Biehler says:

      You can also share links to 80′s videos with friends via Twitter.

      The only thing I don’t like about the Twitter apps (and there are some really great ones) is that they are limited by the API that Twitter uses. This means that if you have a lot of people you follow (or a few prolific ones), it’ll stop working once the update limits are reached.

    4. fotoeins says:

      Although I travel tons, I haven’t yet fully subscribed to the Twitter concept. That you mentioned a Mac client is for me a step closer to joining the fold; so, thanks, I’m going to check that out. As I usually have a Mac and a GSM-phone with me, it should’ve dawned upon me long ago … but there it is.

    5. Miss604 says:

      @Tyler, yeah if you Google “miss604 twitter” you’ll get updates of mine from Twitter and Jaiku.

      @Raul, you’ll be okay just a few more days eh?

      @JohnB, yeah I know, Twitterific chokes a lot on the updates. Stupid little yellow triangle thing.

    6. Janice says:

      I just recently started using twitter and it’s a whole new level of blogging. It’d be pretty fun to post updates during my wedding day to spread the happiness.

    7. Ross says:

      twhirl is based on Adobe AIR so it does work on OS X as well. Just thought I’d mention it, certainly not a big deal.

    8. Keira-Anne says:

      I’ve been tempted several times to join Twitter but I just can’t bring myself to do it. As if I need another thing to keep me on the computer longer than I need/want to be!

    9. I’m afraid I have to second Keira-Anne’s position. While I have heard from two people who mentioned how Twitter increased the response time of specific requests, I see a nearly unanimous consensus that it is an extreme time hog. I’ve got enough trouble fitting everything into my schedule as is!

    10. Raul says:

      I’m going to chime in and say that if it weren’t for Twitter… I would have probably just gone out of my mind. Recently, I’ve been under so much stress that having conversations on Twitter with good friends is one of the very few escapes I’m having. So, GO Twitter!

    11. [...] few months ago I wrote a post about some useful Twitter apps. I still use Twitteriffic however when traveling to [...]

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