Thursday, September 17, 2009

How I Use Twitter

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase
I follow interesting people and not so interesting people (some of my friends :-p ) on Twitter.  I won't get into a whole explanation of what Twitter is over here. If you don't know, get a quick education on their site and at oh, about a million other places on the web.

People use a lot of different third-party applications, on their desktops and on their handheld devices to participate in Twitter.  I've tried a bunch, and this isn't intended to be a review of any of them, but more so a peek into how I use Twitter.

Shocking as it may be to some of my geeky friends, I actually use SMS on my BlackBerry to follow the most interesting Twitter conversationalists and friends. It's just a handful of people and brands that I follow in this manner. However SMS is probably by far the most common way that I post tweets to Twitter.

I have TwitterBerry and TweetCaster on my BlackBerry, and use them mostly to pick up @messages. Still not sure which one I like better. The later is more feature rich, but the former is more responsive as an app.

I've stayed away from the third-party apps on the desktop because I know they would immediately consume more of my time than I'd like. So I check in once in a while, taking a sip from the hose, on the Twitter website itself.

Now, that's mostly the mechanics of how I use Twitter. I actually use it to hear about interesting news from the people that I follow and click-through to the interesting things they've written and discovered on the web.

I use it to discover interesting articles linked to by the people I follow.  And as a way to easily communicate with friends and colleagues.

To me, the most powerful aspect of Twitter is the professional implications - and maybe that's why their recent valuation was at $1B - money in them thar hills.  I use it to find professionals that I need to reach for my job. LinkedIn is a powerful tool for finding WHO the people are at a particular company, but you can't easily communicate with them on LinkedIn (unless you pony up the cash for their premium account). On Twitter, you can communicate with them - albeit in public - but it's just a conversation opener.

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