Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Advantages of Twitter

I have struggled explaining the advantages and purposes of Twitter. What's the catch? Why use it? The reactions to my explanations of using Twitter is similar to "That's the dumbest thing ever?"

There is value, but not value you can easily quantify or explain. The best way for you to to determine its value, in terms of value for YOU, is for you to try it. Reading your friends' (the ones you follow) tweets in one stream helps you engage more meaningful later when blogging or in face-to-face conversations.

John Dorner suggests:

The only way to 'grok' these is to get in there and try it for a couple of weeks. Find some friends and do it together.
For me, I find Twitter a great way to keep in touch with friends and colleagues. Personally, something is comforting in knowing that others have daily frustrations, too. Also, it's amazing how often in 140 characters or less, my friends make me laugh. Laughter makes work so much more interesting.

Simply, Twitter allows for connections with others in an easy and unobtrusive way.

Daily Blog Tips blog also suggests that microblogging, like Twitter, can help you become a better blogger.

Microblogging allows you to develop skills that will make you a better blogger. It’s also a lot of fun. What more could you ask for?

Interesting description of Twitter can be found on a Tale of Two Network Experiences.

A few possible advantages of Twitter are:

Twitter is not a save-all or a definitive profit making tool, but it does create opportunities for connecting and sharing. Twitter is a low-barrier application.

  • Sign up for an account.
  • Start following others.
  • Make friends on Twitter
  • Convince some of your co-workers to join in.

The tweets from your friends is what makes it valuable and fun. You will get more value if you send the messages to your phone via text (SMS) messages.

I asked some friends in Facebook what they liked about Twitter. Their answers are grouped below.

Keeping track of friends and colleagues

  • Maintaining relationships with friends.
  • Getting to know folks and having fun with friends.
  • Keeping in touch with friends - strengthening friendships - a good laugh (momku).
  • I enjoy seeing and hearing what people are up to. It's just fun. I also often pick up new ideas and appreciate the quick feedback. On the downside, I have very few close colleagues or people I actually KNOW who use Twitter.
  • Interesting way to stay in touch, although I have a hard time believing people really are interested in what I am doing when I twit.
  • I think its a fun way of telling a bunch of people what's going on in your life. For me, I use it more recreationally.

Functions of Twitter

  • The informality; private & public messaging; being able to CHOOSE who you listen to; quick & easy!
  • Funny friends. The "track" function. Cellphone availability.

Non (or seldom) user

  • Not sure yet, but can see how it could be useful, especially with hand-held. Maybe I need to explore some other outside applications for it.
  • I don't know. What's a twitter? Sounds like a skin itch . . . Oh no, I've got the twitters!I don't use Twitter. (Note: I am sending this person a Twitter invite and a link to this page.)

Other uses:

  • In the context of events.. it allows me to stay connected to individuals even though we may participating in separate events.
  • It has the potential to be useful in an emergency since you can send a message to a group of people at once, especially if everyone is using it with their phones. Unfortunately, the way some people use it discourages others from enabling the phone feature.
  • I have found it useful when used in the context of a project, an event, or in keeping track of colleagues I don't get to see often.
Besides,
  • it's only 140 characters.
  • not very time consuming.
  • it's easy.
  • it's fun.
Just Twitter.

2 comments:

Greg said...

For me twitter is a txt message version of an email list. Same benefits, but available on your unlimited txt messaging phone.

The best description I found is from twitter's website, quoted below.

==from twitter.com/devices====
About using Twitter on your phone

Twitter really shines when you're away from your computer.

By hooking up your mobile phone, you can receive updates from those you're following (or just some people) when you're waiting in boring lines. And you can send updates, like "OMG, there's a monkey walking down the street!"—which, lets face it, you're unlikely to see while you're indoors.

It's all done through text messages (aka "sms"), which you probably use all the time anyway, so there's not much to learn.

Twitter doesn't charge anything for this, but be sure to know what your text plan looks like with your wireless carrier.

Also know that you can shut text messages from Twitter off at anytime by replying with "off" (and back on by sending "on"). And you can even specify that it turn off automatically at night over here.

Anne Adrian said...

Greg,

Thanks for the how-to make twitter more advantageous.

You are right Twitter is a lot more useful (and fun) when integrated with text on the phone.