How (and Why) to Get Started on Twitter
Stories by C.G. Lynch
The speculation that Google is likely in talks to acquire Twitter shouldn't be surprising. The Twitter founders already entertained offers from Facebook as well. As a result, Twitter will have a choice: sell to a company that connects people to information, or to one that connects people with people. Based on the nature of Twitter, the choice might not be so straightforward
Despite the economic downturn, making money is not a concern for two of the biggest players in the Web 2.0 consumer market. During separate keynotes at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, executives from Twitter and Facebook said their companies aren't focused on creating a profitable business model anytime soon, telling the audience they were more interested in growing their respective sites and catering to end-users.
Twitter, a social networking site that allows people to track each other by writing and exchanging short text messages, has spurred business technology leaders to investigate how they might utilize such a service to improve their organizations' ability to collaborate and communicate with colleagues and customers.
Twitter cofounder and CEO Jack Dorsey got the idea for the real-time service working as a programmer in the dispatch industry as he figured out how to get messages to cabs, ambulances and bike couriers as efficiently as possible
What are you doing?" That's the central question behind Twitter, the uber-popular microblogging/social networking service--and, at this point, cultural phenomenon. In 140-characters or less--brevity's a virtue, just ask Jack Dorsey, Twitter's cofounder and CEO--users enter status messages about what they're doing, reading, researching, pondering, whatever; and others comment or post their own "tweets." If it sounds simple, or basic, that's because it is.
Many companies have utilized the power of Twitter — the short messaging service that enables discussions about current events, products and industry topics — for the purposes of marketing and customer service. But examples of bringing this technology, known as microblogging, into the enterprise for the purposes of collaboration remain nascent.
As the amount of followers you have on Twitter increases, you might find yourself dealing with an increase in Twitter spam. Twitter spam derives from people who take advantage of you following them by sending you unwanted direct messages or merely by following you with the express intent of upping their follower count (meaning, they have no sincere interest in your tweets).
Socialtext, a Web 2.0 vendor that has sold social software (primarily wikis) to businesses for internal collaboration and knowledge management, officially launched Socialtext People (enterprise social networking profiles) and Socialtext Signals, an application that allows business users to share short messages (in 140 characters or less) inside the enterprise like consumers do on Twitter, the microblogging service.
Many companies have begun using Twitter, the microblogging service, to send people brief messages and communicate with customers about new products or how to improve their services.
If you finally caught up with Twitter and found out what all the fuss is about, you now might be wondering: what the heck is TweetDeck? In short, TweetDeck is a helpful, no-cost application that will help you get more from Twitter by sorting through messages more efficiently than the regular version of the service provided on Twitter's website.
It's easy to miss little gems of information on Twitter, the social networking service that allows users to exchange short messages. Because we all can't spend hours in front of the service, we miss important messages (or tweets) posted by colleagues, friends and family while we're away. As the list of people you follow on Twitter grows, the problem becomes more acute: hundreds of messages pass by and flow off the page before you've even had a chance to look at them.
Here's a look at how to utilize Hashtags to organize information that you contribute and consume on Twitter. As the tweets pile up, the extra time you take to thoughtfully categorize your tweets with a hashtag will help the greater Twitter community (and you individually) make the most of the service.
Twitter's growing popularity has yielded one unusual result: It has exposed the frailty of writing skills in the business world. You can fudge bad writing in a 20-slide presentation, but not in a 140-character tweet. From abbreviation-laden tweets with no discernible value, to tweets that fail to compel followers to click through on a link, examples abound. The process of constructing a good Twitter message takes careful thought, time and analysis
Twitter holds inherent value for both your personal and business life. As a business person, building a presence on Twitter helps you connect with customers and peers, and perhaps get feedback on your products and services. For your personal life, Twitter can create what social media experts call an "ambient awareness" for the people important to you in your life — while each message might not be hugely significant, taken in total people can piece together you as a person or at least see the things you value.