Tales from the Twitterverse

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I wrote a column last year on Microblogs & Tweets and the creative use of the Twitterverse si

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Twitter was launched back in 2007, and a whole new language has emerged from this microblogging service. Over a million tweeple across the world are now twittering about their lives in 140 character tweets sent online or by mobile phone using SMS.

Twitter was launched back in 2007, and a whole new language has emerged from this microblogging service. Over a million tweeple across the world are now twittering about their lives in 140 character tweets sent online or by mobile phone using SMS. Celebrities I follow include British actor Stephen Fry of Blackadder fame, who recently relayed his escapades while stuck in a lift to over 100,000 followers. Yoko Ono posts some sweet tweets about peace and makes me smile daily, and Wil Wheaton (the young actor from Star Trek) makes me grin on a regular basis.

I wrote a column last year on Microblogs & Tweets and the creative use of the Twitterverse since then has amazed me. The Telegraph reports a 974% increase in Twitter use over the past year and it is estimated that more than 2.25 million tweets are sent daily. Inside CRM covers 101 Everyday Uses for Twitter, such as looking for a job, falling in love, doing business, finding new music & movies, or discussing politics. A recent article in Wired reports on how Twitter is fast growing beyond it's messaging roots, turning 'what is essentially a micro-blogging service into one of the internet's most important technologies, along with instant messaging and e-mail'.

Giving up smoking? Then use Qwitter, which tracks the number of times you light up, and helps you chart your thoughts and progress. Botanicalls lets your plants Twitter when they need to be watered, by using a sensor connected to your home computer. You can use Twitter to remote control your home lights, and there is a Twittering washing machine that reminds you to take your clothes out at the end of the cycle. For artists 7 reasons why everyone in the music industry should try Twitter includes being able to have a direct conversation with your fans and monitoring your online buzz.

Start by setting up an account at twitter.com, then add a profile and post your first message in 140 characters or less. You can follow other Tweeple in your friends feed, and there is a list of the Official Twitter text commands. There are some simple Twittettiquette rules to follow such as these Five Dos and Don'ts, which covers issues such as whether to follow someone back, how personal you should get, and I'd also consider how often you should post. Many people use tools other than the website to tweet and I use Twhirl to manage multiple accounts.

Mashable has a comprehensive list of 140+ Twitter Tools. Useful services include Twitpic for sharing pictures through Twitter, Twiddeo for video, plus Hootsuite lets you pre-write and send dated tweets. Mashable also shares the secrets of how to Live inside Twitter and stay productive, such as Twittercal, that lets you that connects your Twitter account to your Google Calendar, or Tempo for tracking time if you are a freelancer.

Find out if you are a member of the Twitteratti with Twitter Grader which is based on number of posts, and followers. Twinfluence show the most influencial people currently on Twitter with tech bloggers Guy Kawasaki and Jason Calacanis in the top two spots followed by Barack Obama. The Obama campaign team cleverly tapped into the Twitterverse for the election, and the use of social media tools helped create grassroots support for the new President. You can even watch the flow of tweets across the world during the Inauguration ceremony.

With no clear business model in sight it's likely that Twitter will start charging at some point. An official announcement has yet to be made though digital commentators are predicting paid for business accounts later this year. However Twitter have reassured us with a recent post that whatever happens they will still offer a free service.

You can follow MsBehaviour at http://twitter.com/msbehaviour, with highlights from The Big Idea at: http://twitter.com/bigidea

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  • Helen Baxter is Managing Directrix of Mohawk Media, which produces internet TV& 3D Animation, and appears regularly on Virtual World for Radio New Zealand, National.
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    MsBehaviour

    12 Feb 2009

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