I was going to do a guide and reasons why I use Twitter but it has been done to death, so I am taking the easy option and pointing you to one of the better ones I have read. Basically though, the best description is that Twitter if like Facebook but for clever people!
- staying in touch with geek friends and colleagues
- Using private messages – then it’s really about staying in touch with true friends and family (that is, if your friends and family sms and IM frequently)
- keeping up-to-date with emerging tools (remember – Flickr started out as a silly web photography game, not the amazing social tool it’s turned into)
- News updates – CNN and BBC both have twitter feeds (ooh – a library use!)
- loosely following a well-wifi’d geek/techie conference
- Following the thought processes of emerging tech trend thinkers. Ex – Robert Scoble has a twitter account and over 1000 friends. He’s been asking his friends questions – and getting 1000 replies. Think of how blog posts and comments and trackbacks work – but on steroids. Instead of waiting a day or so for other thoughts, with twitter you get them within the hour, tops. Setup correctly, that could prove to be an amazing “collective brain current awareness” database that you could tap at any time.
- when interviewing someone for a job, check to see if they twitter – then check their twitter feed just like you’d google them and check their blog (if they had one)
- Check out a potential colleague’s twitter feed to see if you’d personally like them or not
- twitter as a personal note bucket – send yourself random thoughts that you don’t want to lose. They’re stored in your account’s history!
- Current awareness search tool. For this to work, Twitter would need a search engine (which I don’t think it has) or something like Google would need to be used. SO a bit of a dream here… BUT stay with me here for a sec. With Flickr, you can troll the popular tags feature and see what’s going on in the world. I’m assuming that with Twitter, if something BIG happens, people using Twitter would be texting about it. That could be an amazing resource to get the “feel of the streets” during a major event (cool, another library use).