What is Twitter?
Twitter is a website that lets visitors write short messages (limited to 140 characters) that answer the perennial question: What are you doing?
Twitter began as a way for employees to communicate within organisations, but gradually expanded as a way for friends, colleagues and contacts to share their news, thoughts and interesting discoveries with each other.
If you want to have a conversation online, you might use email or instant messaging. But if you want other people to ‘overhear’ your conversation, allowing them to join in, then Twitter is the perfect medium.
Twitter is becoming an inspirational source of connections, helping like-minded people unite for social change, good causes and business shenanigans.
Why should you use Twitter?
At first glance, Twitter might appear to be a hyperactive torrent of random thoughts. But it’s much more than that. You can use Twitter to do many things, including:
- Let colleagues and clients get to know you as a person
- Open communication channels between your organisation and the public
- Demonstrate your intelligence/wit/charm/(insert good quality here)
- Find new partners, volunteers, members and clients
Why do other people use Twitter?
We asked these questions…
Asking: Why do YOU use Twitter? Why?!#
Doing a little research… Tell me, why do YOU use Twitter?#
…which very quickly led to these responses (and more):
Hi Leif – twitter is human moderated search, I get to find stuff I didn’t even know I wanted. Plus, a personal radio#
I use Twitter in the hope of learning something new! I like the trying-to-be-useful Tweets, not the tells-me-nothing ones.#
First it was curiosity. Then it was an addiction. Now I intend to build good relations (I hope!) with people AND poss clients#
I use twitter to learn from all the knowledgable people in the twittersphere and [hopefully] to contribute as well.#
Would love to help, but can’t say why I use Twitter in 140 chars! To stay informed, meet new interesting peeps, feel connected..#
I use Twitter in lieu of real colleagues. The virtual variety is much easier to filter out!#
Staying close to people, sharing information easier and faster, discovering new resources from interesting bloggers.#
To keep track of the minds of smart people and to share exciting quirks online#
It’s like having better brains on tap, and I work alone, so it helps me feel connected – I call it ‘alone together’
For tidbits of info, useful urls, and connecting with people in my sector (charity and PR)#
Initially to see what the fuss was about, now I’ve been sucked in and can’t help myself.#
One thing’s for sure – now that Twitter has broken into the mainstream, playing its part in citizen journalism, charity fundraising and Barack Obama’s legendary social media success (he’s by far the most followed Twitterer), it’s not going away any time soon.
So, do YOU use Twitter? Why?