Thursday, 31 January 2008

Twitter - misunderstood tool or total twaddle?

Ok, so I am really interested in the whole Social web thing, community building and social networks.
But I've never really GOT the Twitter thing.

I've been intrigued by it, but, having left my Tricenarian years behind last year, and the lack of requests for my twitter-presence, it appears that I either dont have any "cool" friends who use such tools, or that they too are unsure what to do with it!

So, on finding this post last week and reading another viewpoint from a contact I made at a Green Marketing event today, I finally got round to setting up an account to see if i can find a use for it.

To be honest, I was a late entrant to the Facebook "thing" but quickly found appeal and got hooked. It's enabled me to get back in contact, and easily maintain contact with a whole bunch of friends from the "pre-company" years that I thought I would never see or hear from again. (I've never been very brilliant at keeping regular contact with friends who've moved away..) And for that, I thank you Facebook!

So, onto Twitter - The idea is that you can send a text (SMS) to a central point on anything that you are doing, and then your friends and followers can be updated automatically by the same service. AND interact.

It's really easy to setup an account, then validate it to your mobile, and you are ready to go, so I have. And then - well, as I had suspected, having let it trawl through my email addresses, it found ZERO people that I know with accounts on twitter, so I am left able to twitter to myself!

BUT HANG ON! - Then it hit me - Its a micro-blogging tool, one that would enable me for example, to text ideas and thoughts back to a blog, some of which could be worth sharing (!?) but others could be referenced later and written up in full or acted on.

Take, for example, the event I was at today; I met loads of new contacts and made some notes of blogs, website URLs and great ideas - I could have twittered (such messages are called "Tweets") these back to my micro-blog (and via a cunning widget, I suspect pulling them directly onto this blog too) and therefore been contributing to this post hours ago!

Today I had paper and a pen with me, but what if I was in the pub, or at a sporting meeting or similar - I can now whizz ideas and updates, even if they are only really of interest to me, back to my micro-blog, at any time.

And, thinking laterally, say you are a small courier company and want to keep track of your drivers, why not get them to twitter a customer or delivery code / report back on completing a drop-off, or traffic update.. then any potential delays could be co-ordinated for the cost of an SMS, AND all other drivers could receive the update automatically.

I know you can text to multiple recipients, but this sorts it all out for you, AND provides a log of events that a manager or administrator can use (AND more!)

So, although my account setup is still drying, I can already see that there are loads of potential applications already, and that's without trying to find friends to update on my every movement! Thumbsup from me!

Have you used it? what do you think?

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nickbroom said...

The sharp-eyed amongst you will have noticed that I have found the widget to pull the tweets into this page..
Oh dear, I am seriously starting to tread into geek territory now. :|

martyn@preview said...

Life streaming. All the kids are doing it. Now that local communities are falling apart we are broadcasting ourselves via these digital outlets. Have you seen a hoodie playing music through their mobile's speakers? Same thing. There are different ways to share/gossip these days. I use Twitter, Blogger and Linkedin to keep in touch with my circle of contacts and to share my thoughts and movements.