Do you tweet?

July 16, 2008

I’m doing some research at the moment on new interactivity tools and finally got round to checking out Twitter.com, which allows users (Twitterers) to stay constantly connected with friends by sending and receiving short messages called Tweets. You can tune into someone’s random musings and subscribe to their Twitter feed. Kind of like listening in on a cross-line without speaking up (unless you want to).

Now, whenever I read about some new fandangly Web 2 toy, my usual first thought is: WHO’S GOT THE TIME! But once I get past my Gen X hang-ups, it’s always an interesting process working out what the attraction is and looking at how others are using it.

So far, this is what I’ve learnt and liked about Twitter.

  • As a writer I can get ideas: A lot of what the twitterers publish is predictably mundane but every now and then you stumble across a little gem which gets you thinking. Nice.
  • You can ‘follow’ someone you admire: I recently went to a seminar and heard an interesting futurist speak (Mark Pesce). He shared his Twitter address with the audience so now I can read what he’s up to and thinking, pretty much right now. And we have never even met.
  • Posts are typically very up-to-date: Unlike blogs and websites, a Tweet can be seconds old which makes you feel like you’ve really got your finger on some kind of ball.
  • You can use them in business: One of my London-based colleagues uses her Twitter account to source work contacts, business ideas and trends. She’s a smart cookie that one.

Do you Twitter? Find me at libbyvarcoe.

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