So … Twitter … Do you like it? Love it? Hate it?
I got on it for work recently, first as myself (mizwrite), but now I “tweet” for my company most days of the week under LifeScript.
Anyway, Twitter is kind of a strange animal – it’s sort of a cross between IM-ing and a chat room (or like sending Facebook status updates constantly, only to a roomful of strangers rather than to your closest friends). It’s very fast, and very live (especially if you’re following hundreds – or, in LifeScript’s case, even thousands – of conversations). You can “follow” the conversations of anyone you like, and even “group” them to follow certain streams at a time.
Here are some things you can do with Twitter:
Follow famous people: Katie Couric, Maria Shriver, Gov. Arnold Swartzenegger, Tina Fey, Rainn Wilson (Dwight from “The Office”), Ashton Kutcher, Jane Fonda, Tyler Florence, Shaq, Jimmy Fallon, etc. are all on there, chatting about their day and where they’re eating for lunch. You can follow any and all. Necessary to your life? No. Fun? Absolutely.
Follow companies you frequent: Find out about upcoming promotions or sales (or ask them what happened to your shipment). Jet Blue, Zappo, Whole Foods, Google, Real Simple magazine, LifeScript (!), etc. are all on there. Necessary for your life? Maybe. Fun? Surprisingly yes – the companies seem much more “human” when you can chat with them directly and make jokes about lost luggage or bad chai tea.
Follow news coverage: Get up-to-the-second headlines from CNN, MSNBC, Huffington Post and others. Find out about the Mumbai bombings from people who are actually THERE; see pictures of the plane in the Hudson before it’s even hit the Internet, and know about earthquakes within seconds of their happening (from the people who just felt them). Necessary for your life? Might be, as newspapers continue to go down. Fun? Coolness factor is high here – there’s a strange human desire to be the “first to know.”
Follow friends of yours: Find out … well … what they fed their cat this morning and what they ordered from Starbucks. : ) Necessary for your life? Nah – phone and e-mail are easier. Fun? Sure, but it has an unsettling “spying” feeling when you respond to them, as if you’ve been overhearing a conversation you weren’t necessarily invited to.
Make new friends regarding interests you have: Want to meet fellow tiki lovers? Simply find a Twitter tiki group, follow everyone in it, and jump in with tips on where to find the nearest bar that still puts umbrellas in the mai-tais. Scrapbooker? Do a search for “scrapbook,” follow the conversation, join in, and “follow” everyone you meet that day. Necessary for your life? Not ‘necessary,’ but you could certainly classify it as ‘enriching.’ Fun? Definitely.
So those are my assessments. How about you? Have you tried it yet? How do you use it? What do you think?