May 26th, 2009

Twitter – Is it Only for Twits?

If you’re reading this, you’ve figured out how to get to a blog. But how much to you know about “microblogging?”

Or the biggest name in microblogging today: Twitter?

Twitter lets you quickly send out a short message of 140 characters, called a tweet. Then anyone who is signed up to receive your tweets gets to read it. You can create a network of friends who all watch each others’ tweets, or you can join the multitude following the moment-by-moment details of the lives of the famous.

Twitter may have started as a fast way for people to quickly update all their friends at once, but it has quickly moved beyond that. With 6 million users, a recent Business Week article looks at some of the possibilities for businesses who want to tap that market.

Politicians have also joined the Twitter craze. The Obama campaign ran its own Twitter stream, and the president got to be the subject (or not) of tweets when other pols used Twitter to comment during his speech.

Not sure how this will ever apply to your academic or professional life? Think again. Twitter is making inroads at professional and academic conferences, with audience members pouring out streams of tweets about what’s going on. The ALA Annual Conference, where thousands of librarians meet to discuss things like Twitter, isn’t even happening until July, and it’s already got quite a long list of tweets.

In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t Twitter. If you read my blog posts, you’ll know that I can’t contain myself to only 140 characters. And, like many others who work in academia, I have a real soft spot for long, analytical discussions with footnotes. Not exactly tweet material.

Still, even if you don’t Twitter yourself, you may need to be aware of it in future. If this trend really catches on, you may be in the dark without it.

In the meantime, you can revel in your luddite attitude while watching this funny YouTube video from Current.

– Erin


Comment from SomeGuy
Time June 10, 2009 at 1:36 am

Twitter will come and go.

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