But back to Twitter. I’ve talked about some of the basic things you can do (here and here):
1. Post short messages in answer to the prompt question “what are you doing?”
2. Follow other people who interest you and read their short posts (“tweets”)
3. Update and receive your tweets by mobile phone.
I’m fairly new to Twitter. Although I opened my account last November, I didn’t start experimenting with Twitter on a daily basis until around about the New Year. I wasn’t sure what the point would be.
I've mentioned one thing I've learned: being able to start conversations with people like Chris Hambly (you can read about how Chris’s communication patterns have changed and become almost cost-free).
And I’ve talked about how a small voluntary club is using Twitter as a speedy, low-cost way to keep their members informed about last minute arrangements for club activities.
The other great thing that I’ve gained from Twitter is a sort of news–stream. It’s a bit like tickertape, little messages come speeding through, alerting me to different things that are happening. These are some of the things I’ve first learned about through Twitter in the past month:
1. Microsoft offers 44.6 billion dollars for Yahoo.
2. US bank rates lowered to stave off recession.
3. Robert Scoble thrown off then re-instated on Facebook
4. The row about Scrabble
5. Tom Hodgkinson’s Guardian article about Facebook
As well as links taking me directly to each of these stories (all supplied by other Twitterers in their 140-character posts), they’ve been accompanied by Tweets with other people’s comments and observations, and links to blog posts where they are being discussed.
So, in five minutes three times a day, I can scan Twitter and pick up important news items and links to further information. But I don’t have to read these straight away. I can “favourite” key tweets and they are saved for me until I have time to follow them up properly. On one hand, I quickly find out about key stories, and on the other, I can collect information about them to read when it suits me.
So Chris is saving money, and I am saving time.