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Is Twitter for me? Find Out Now!

posted Sep 10, 2009, 9:31 PM by Danny Eusebio   [ updated Sep 10, 2009, 9:32 PM ]

By now you must have heard about something called Twitter. Whether it was through Ashton Kutcher or Oprah Winfrey, you must have been graced by its presence. But what is Twitter and why does it matter to the everyday college student? Well that's what we're going to try and figure out together. Maybe Facebook is good enough or maybe you need to "tweet" every hour of your life to the world. But don't think so lightly of Twitter, it's literally exploded in the last six months as a new and powerful social networking tool. And there is legitimate reasons why people use it.



What is it?

Twitter is a simple microblogging tool that you can use to update your status wherever you are with your cellphone. A "tweet" in other words update status, is only up-to 140 characters. As a result, your updates have to be short, concise, and straight to the point.

Opponents of Twitter will probably tell you that 140 characters isn't enough. To be quite honest, sometimes it never is. However, its conciseness allows you to digest information very quickly.


The System

Twitter is structured similar to Facebook. Instead of adding friends, you gain Followers. Followers are people who like what you "Twit" and they decide to follow your feeds. Usually followers are people like your friends or colleagues, however, sometimes if you twitter good content (funny or useful), random folks will follow. 

You too can follow people. Why would you follow? Well, for the same reason they follow you. Either your friends that want to stay in touch or its somebody that post good information. Here's the perfect example:

September 9th was the Apple Keynote. A lot of people love to follow what new products are being released by Apple. Honestly if I could go to these events, I would. However, if you can't, then you have some options. Try to see if you can find a live video feed of the Keynote or follow someone on Twitter who is at the event. Usually these people are big media techs. They're usually journalist of Podcast and tech shows. So they'll update you in "real time" of what's being announced and mentioned during the event. So instead of waiting for the six o'clock news to hear about what Apple is selling, you'll have the front row seat "so to speak."

Another example is if you're following your friends, they might notice that theres a road block in one of the streets. Maybe there was an accident. Your friend could twitter the information out and then you'd see it. So when you go out that day, you'll most likely avoid that street. Or if an event is happening on campus, twittering out the information can be a fast and effective way of reaching people. 


Sometimes when news is flooding in, Twitter will sometimes hiccup and be unaccessible. It usually means something big is happening.



Verdict

I've tried out Twitter on a personal level and it has its ups and downs. Sometimes I find that 140 characters can be limiting and having to express yourself in less words can be troublesome at times. In addition, if you end up following people who tweet useless brash material, then just unfollow them. Another problem I experienced while using Twitter was the constant adds by fake users. It can be annoying when you get like 20 fake followers in one day trying to get you to view them on their webcam. The best solution is to lock your tweets.

In my opinion, Facebook is just as useful. There's more flexibility and integration of things, while Twitter is somewhat one dimensional. But don't leave Twitter out of your sight. I would recommend anyone to make an account and try literally try Twitter. You won't really know if its for you unless you use it in the first place.

There is definitely more things out there about Twitter. Like how you can get a lawsuit for your twits or even free movie tickets. Just be aware that people are following your tweets, especially big companies.
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