Thursday, April 2, 2009

What is Twitter?

Twitter. I'm sure you've probably heard of it, but what is it?
Twitter is yet another branch of social networking, but it's a little different from the rest. I've been researching this a little bit before I set up my own account and I'd love to hear any feedback from you too. This blog will be a general overview of Twitter and then I will follow up with more specifics about this popular internet site which has everyone "twitterpated"!

It's easy to sign up for Twitter, just visit their website. and pick a username and password. Twitter has lots of support and helpful ideas to get you started.

As far as I can tell from watching the nifty little movie on Twitter.com, the point of this little social networking gadget is to post short "tweets" answering a simple question, "What are you doing?" These tweets keep you connected with your friends and families. I liked the example they give on their homepage, that Twitter is for the space between emails and blog posts--the things you wouldn't necessarily email or blog about, like I just finished reading a great book called "The Midwife's Apprentice." Or I'm craving one of my favorite peanut butter graham cracker snacks right now.

Tweets are only 140 characters long, which is long enough to give a soundbite of your life in the moment, but short enough for your friends and family to easily follow.

Following is also popular on Twitter. You can select people you want to follow and see each tweet they post. Twitter seems to be widely popular among mobile phone use as it works well with texting.

While caring for my sick baby a couple weeks ago, I caught some of Good Morning America and during one segment they mentioned that over 100,000 people were following the topic on Twitter.

To find out what's happening right now on Twitter, you can visit their home page and search any name or topic and see what conversations pop up. I typed in the name of some of my favorite authors and other things and it was interesting to see the thread of comments that came up.

Of course, you can choose to have your account be private instead of public on your Twitter account and this will go back to the question I've asked before, "What is your goal with social networking?" If it is just to stay in touch with family and friends, then there is no need to go public. If you'd like more information and tips on this and other subjects to have an enjoyable and safe experience you can click here to visit a comprehensive list of my blogs on this subject.

Stay tuned for more information on my experiences with Twitter and please share your stories. Why do you like Twitter?


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