Web 2.0

Why Twitter?

Good uses of Twitter http://twitter.com/

Last week I spoke to a group about Twitter. The big question was – why would I ever want to use it. Some folks used it with friends but couldn’t see a business use. So I wanted to outline some good uses.

First some Twitter basics: Twitter is like micro-blogging. You can publish messages up to 140 characters long. People sign up to get your messages; and you can sign up to get theirs. You can access Twitter from your computer or from your cell phone.

Twitter as Broadcast Tool

  1. Imagine the Department of Transportation sending out updates and accidents and construction
  2. Imagine a friend sending out updates of speed traps
  3. Imagine a restaurant (such as Punch Pizza) sending out 2-for-1 pizza offers on a wintery day
  4. Imagine someone sitting in legislative session and sending out updates of what’s happening

Twitter for Conversation

  1. Imagine going to a conference and being able to send messages back and forth to other conference attendees
  2. Imagine not attending the conference and still being able to follow the sessions through others’ messages
  3. Imagine doing a search on a topic to find out who else is discussing/thinking about it right now
  4. Imagine watching others discuss topics to see what’s going on in your field

Next week I’ll talk about more Twitter shortcuts – but one that has come up for me in the last week is the hashtag (#). You can use # to add a subject to your post. So if you’re Twittering at the NFOIC conference, you might add “#nfoic09” to each post and it would be easy for other Twits to find you and join your conversation. If I were holding a conference I might assign/suggest a tag for everyone to use. It’s a great way to get folks involved before, during and after the conference.

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