I recently wrote an article for a professsional association I belong to and thought it might be republish here, albeit condensed slightly.
First of all you're probably thinking, what on earth is Twitter?
Well Twitter began life in 2006 as a research and development project and has now become the most popular microblogging site on the Web. Twitter is part Social Networking site part publishing platform, with the idea behind it that it offers a way for individuals to provide more detailed “status” updates to their friends, family and other contacts.
Think text messages or Facebook status updates and you’re almost there in terms of the concept although with Twitter users can receive updates via the Twitter website, SMS, RSS, email or through applications like Tweetie, TwitterFon, Twitterrific, Feedalizr or Facebook.
A number of other services exist with a similar concept or which combine the micro-blogging functionality with other services, of these Jaiku, Plurk and Tumblr are the best-known microblogging sites. Microblogging is a form of blogging that allows individuals to post brief text updates (usually no more than 140 characters) or other media such as photos, audio clips and websites. Followers, individuals who have chosen to follow these updates, a bit like blog subscribers, then view them.
These updates could be about anything, from what you had for lunch to a new website you’ve seen to something you have just blogged about or are thinking of talking about, your only limit is 140 characters.
Still interested in taking a look at Twitter? then you'll want to have a look some of the excellent guides that have been written on how to use Twitter and why!
- Twitter your first 24 hours
- Twitter: Why It’s So Great And How To Effectively Use It
- Newbie's guide to Twitter
- The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter
And if you're really keen to start using Twitter and are looking for some people to follow then look no further then the following: