What is Twitter? And why should one start using it?
Many of my professional and social contacts are already using Twitter, and yet many more are still not fully aware of it. I am writing this brief article to introduce this great new medium to those who are not on board. If you are already familiar with Twitter, but are not actively using it – please, get onboard….you are missing out on a lot! If you are already a regular Twitter user, that’s great! Feel free to skip this article.
Just 6 months back, if someone had mentioned ‘Twitter’ outside the confines of some Silicon Valley coffee shops and offices, chances are they would have received a blank stare. Further more, many ‘techies’ who understood the concept would have dismissed it as another one of those Web 2.0 websites. How much difference 6 months can make! Today people from all walks of life are entering the ‘Twitter-o-sphere’! Twitter already has more than 6 Million users.
Initially, these new users start off with a few tentative steps to test the water. Like any new communication medium, there is some acclimatization (learning) curve. However, in Twitter this is typically very short. Many Celebrities, Politicians, CEOs, Authors, Business Gurus have started ‘tweeting’ (sending messages via Twitter). When geeky words and phrases such as ‘Google It’ and ‘Reboot’ enter out lexicon, that’s a clear signal of mainstream adoption of the technology. ‘Tweeting’ is almost there!
Almost all major news organizations (TV/Print Media/Blogs) are also leveraging this new medium. President Barack Obama used Twitter quite effectively in his election campaign; and in this week’s State of The Union Address Session, it was reported that a congressman was sending live updates of the President’s speech on Twitter.
Twitter is as fundamental a medium as ‘Email’. You can use it the way you want it. Unlike a social networking site, or a professional networking site – it doesn’t compartmentalize the user into a specific domain. Like email, you can use twitter for catching up with friends, for personal networking, for business connections, for marketing, for following news & sports, etc.
Twitter user base is growing exponentially and has started rivaling some of the most popular sites on the web. As the number of users grows, so does the reach and the types in which it used. Whether it was the Mumbai Terror Attacks or the Hudson River emergency landing of a passenger airliner, breaking news was being actively disbursed via Twitter, before any of the conventional media. One primary reason for this popularity is Twitter’s cornerstone design of limiting message length to 140 characters (something that can be sent through a SMS protocol on cell phones). This forces the user to write brief and crisp messages, and enables readers to focus on the real topic quickly.
So what exactly is Twitter? And how does one start using it? Instead of re-inventing the wheel, I am simply going to point the reader to a great overview article & presentation “Why you should be on Twitter – and how best to use it” that was compiled by Navin Kabra, the founder of PuneTech. After going through this presentation, I hope that you can start ‘tweeting’ soon! My twitter id is ‘aparanjape’ – look forward to connecting with you there!
Subscribe to comments with RSS.