Posted 09.02.2009

Getting Social Media to Work for You (Part 7: Twitter)

Twitter = Micro Blogging

Twitter haters will say, “Who cares what I’m doing every minute of everyday?! Nobody wants to know when I’m going to the bathroom!” But, Twitter is so much more than that. I think it makes far more sense if you put it in terms of micro blogging, but then again I guess that goes along with my Twitter Personality.

A Quick History Lesson

Evan Williams co-founded Twitter (and Blogger!). The service was inspired by IM away messages.—I think knowing these things also helps you understand how to use the service better.

The first time it clicked

I’ve been using Twitter since it first came out in 2006. At that point, the service was mostly tech people (*COUGH* Geeks…let’s just be honest). I was excited about what it would become, but I knew that in order for it to be really be great, my friends (in real life) would need to join. I remember the first time that I had conversation with multiple people via Twitter, everything clicked: This is why Twitter.

Why Twitter has Succeeded Thus Far

Twitter has succeeded thus far because they have opened up their API. (for the non-geek, they’ve opened their code base to allow other developers to write programs + sites using their services) As a result, people have been able to expand their services, accessing information and updating from multiple access points. For example, one of the biggest marketers for Twitter was being able to say “You can update your Facebook status with your Twitter account.”

Another reason, (that’s often overlooked) is the ability to access it on your phone, smart phone or not.

  • You’re not limited to your computer.
  • You can have a conversation with multiple people
  • You can access other services through Twitter on your phone

Sites + Services that have emerged around Twitter

Just to prove my point even further, here’s a list of a few of the sites + services that are currently available. (and this is a very, very, very short list)

  • Mr. Tweet I’ve actually blogged about Mr. Tweet before. This service finds influencers within your network that you should be following, as well as, followers that post information relevant to you.
  • Twitter Feed – pushes your blog feed to Twitter
  • ExecTweets – This site aggregates a bunch of Executive’s Twitter Feed
  • Twubble – This service supposedly helps you find friends
  • Twisten – This service helps you find new music by crawling Twitter for tweets about music.
  • Twitter Grader – This service grades you to see how well you use Twitter. (I got a 90 out of 100)
  • TweetStats – This service also runs stats to see how well you are using Twitter. However, I think this service is more useful than Twitter Grader because it gives information about when you’re Tweeing, what time of day, etc.
  • TweetMeme – This service provides a button, making it easier for people to Tweet about your stuff

Searches and Trends

One of the greatest things about Twitter is it’s ability to track trends, getting immediate feedback on a product or service.

From an event stand point, this becomes an invaluable form of communication as you’re able to track the overall feedback of the crowd as an event is taking place. We’ve expanded the conversation. Just go to

The future of Twitter

It will be interesting to see where Twitter goes. Recently, on [email protected], Leo and Amber were talking about a movement to go back to longer form blog posts. They were suggesting that we may have come full circle.


Follow me on Twitter.

This concludes Part 6 of 5 completed parts of my 11 part series on how I use a variety of web services:

  • Tawny is a great web site too smile

  • Drew Huddleston

    So I consider myself a Twitter nay-sayer, but after reading this post (and watching the “in plain english” video, I MIGHT be coming over to the dark side. Time will tell.

    Thanks for sharing, Amy!