Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Another great use for twitter

Over the past year, I've written about interesting ways that Twitter is being used.

Michael Martine wrote a good article titled "Twitter is like sex" where he makes the point that you just have to get in and experience it to understand it.

The more I use Twitter, the more I find it to be an invaluable tool. Sometimes the noise to value ratio gets a little high, but then something like today's power outage where eXtension and NC Cooperative Extension house their servers occurs. They can't send an email to any of their mailing lists because they are on the servers that are without power. However, I found out about it because some of the people that I follow 'tweeted' that their building was without power. They also used the eXtensionOrgSys twitter account to post the status of their system.

Last week, I drove with my wife to Pennsylvania. Before leaving, I turned on Twitter's SMS feature to have the tweets from that those I follow sent to my cell phone as text messages. Throughout the day, I was able to keep up with my friends and what was going on in the world. I tweeted what I was doing so they could keep up with me. Vince Verbeke shared how to pronounce Wilkes-Barre and even gave directions to a great garden center to visit from where we were having lunch.

After using twitter for more than a year now, I still feel it is a great information gathering tool. It is a great relationship maintenance and building tool. And it's just fun. Twitter is still the first thing I check - before email or anything else. It's like going to a party with all your friends and being able to listen to and even participate in all the discussions. Some I just listen to and laugh, others I participate.

vcverbeke, myself and some others are posting an IT Tip Of The Day (ittotd).
vvanpetten is doing a great job of using twitter to promote her blog and herself.
jdorner is where you can find me.

If you haven't tried Twitter yet, the way I would suggest getting started is to try it with some friends or family that you don't see often. Convince them to 'try' it for a month.

I recommend using a third party tool to read and post to twitter. "How Are People Twittering" has a top ten list as of January 31, 2008. Right now, I'm using Twitbin in my Firefox window. I also like Snitter. And plan to try out Twitterrific (free w/ ads) on my Mac.

Caveat: Twitter is not 100% stable. At this time, I would not recommend using it for mission critical information. Just this morning, there were a couple tweets that I could read on the twitter web site, but didn't get them in my Snitter or TwitBin.

1 comment:

John Dorner said...

Just found some more interesting articles about using twitter.