Friday, November 02, 2007

Using twitter as a 'microblog'

Most of the people I follow on twitter use it more to share what they are thinking, feeling or doing. Momku does it in a very interesting and entertaining way. All of her 'tweets' are in haiku style.

I'm being followed by a couple who I can only assume follow me in an effort to increase their number of followers (hoping that I'll follow them in return). Their mistake.

Usually when I'm notified that someone is now following me (I receive an email), I'm curious enough to go to their twitter page to see if it is someone I know and would want to follow or try to figure out what is their motivation for following. This usually gets their web site hit one time by me and I move on.

Today, I got notified that I had a new follower "21st Century Citizen". I was curious to see who it was and found that they are using twitter - very effectively - as a microblog. While sometimes some of those I follow use twitter as a microblog, that is the minority of their tweets. "21st Century Citizen" is using it as a way to promote environmentalism by sharing links to related web sites and articles. Of course I clicked on their home page link as well. If I were interested in this topic, I probably would have followed them in twitter and subscribed to their blog (using my RSS reader). But, I'm not, so I won't.

I don't respect their spam like method of marketing. However, I do respect how they are using the tools and can see this as a quick way to share information - with those interested. would be a better tool for sharing links with brief descriptions, but they would lose out on the 'spam marketing option'.

What I did learn from them is that twitter could be a good way to share lots of small pieces of information with a large (or small) audience. Maybe a way to share a 'tip of the day' in your area of interest. If there were someone who shared one short (twitter limits you to 140 characters per tweet) tip each day (or just each week) on a topic I was interested in, I would follow them. Hey, that sounds like a good idea. I think I'll try it. Are you interested in an IT Tip of the Day? Follow me at: and we'll see how long I can keep it up. (you can help me by sending me tips to use) Maybe several of us could use post to this - contact me if you are interested in 'co-tweeting'.

What do you know? Maybe a micro-blog will be easier to maintain than a regular blog. I'll let you know.

One nice thing about using twitter as a micro-blog is that I'll easily be able to see who is subscribed (following). Which is a great lead in for my next article - how to count who's reading your blog.


Douglas said...

I follow you because you are the first and only person to Twitter the word Philmont since I started tracking that word.

John Dorner said...

Anne has a great article about twitter "Advantages of Twitter"