WARNING: Not Using Twitter Can Harm Your Life – So Why The Heck Not?

Well so there I was, standing and stranded in front of Grand Central Station in New York City and suddenly realized that I had no idea in which direction I was supposed to go. So rapidly being in danger of being awfully late for a meeting, and also discovering I didn’t have the persons phone number handy, I decided to post a message which included my cellphone number on Twitter (www.twitter.com), asking for directions.

It was just a shot in the dark, but suddenly after 5 minutes my cellphone rang and a complete stranger who read my twitter post, kindly guided me back on track and towards my destination.

My story is certainly not that rare for users of Twitter, as increasingly this great micro blogging service is being used in incredibly inventive useful means.

The Twitter website, which was launched in 2006, is a phenom that has exponentially grown in the jargon laden internet arena with terms bandied about such as: Web 2.0, social media, ‘peer to peer’ communication services etc. Probably one of the best ways to describe what Twitter does, is that it’s similar to the ‘status-update’ feature that comes with the ever popular Facebook, but just without the Facebook part.

Users of Twitter can text post messages of up to 140 or so characters long, which happens to be around the same limit for text messages sent from a cellphone. These text posts, which are also known as tweets (or are they twits?), can then be instantly read by all of Twitter’s members or users or by those Tweets who have chosen to follow a given poster’s updates.

These tweets can be easily sent using Twitter’s Web site. Messaging can also be sent by using third party applications such as Twitterific (www.iconfactory.com/software/twitterrific/), a desktop application designed for use by smart phones such as the iPhone or the BlackBerry, as well as cellular text messaging.

There is also an additional option for Twitters to follow other specific Twitter users posts. This is probably Twitter’s most popular feature. While the majority of users focus on its social ‘peer to peer’ communication functions, such as sending Tweets to keep their friends, business associates or family up to date on their exact and immediate activities. Twitter is now being seen as a powerful interactive tool that can be used in numerous different ways.

How Viral Is Twitter
So a local blogger friend of mine who is a self proclaimed expert in social media issues has found another useful way to use Twitter. She originally started using Twitter way back in early 2007, and since, it has become a valuable way for her to keep in touch with her friends but also uses it to promote her blog which drives drives Internet traffic in droves to her latest posts.

Whenever she decides to publish an article post on her WP blog, the installed plug-in application ‘WordTwit’ (www.bravenewcode.com/wordtwit/) instantly notifies the 1,200+ Twitter fans who have chosen to follow her posting tweets.

This is a great method to have instant visitors to her site from using Twitter. So within literally the first 60 minutes of her blog post being posted, there is direct traffic funneled from her automated tweets, which links to the new article.

While Twitter helps her to keep in touch with her followers reading her blog, Twitter also sends new visitors to her as well, this happens when other Tweeters mentioned her or her blog in their tweets.

Others who have found this micro blogging service extremely useful for more than just promoting themselves. There are some that use the viral abilities of Twitter to get information or opinions and unbiased feedback from other users.

If you say you need some articles or emails translated into French, you can post that message request on Twitter and within a short period of time, you should have several replies for offers on their translation service, all from bilingual ‘peer to peer’ readers, most who just want to help.

Twitter for some has now taken the place of posting links which was once occupied by Delicous, another popular social-bookmarking site, or using a service like Skype to converse with friends and readers. It is quickly becoming the preferred method of sending quick messages and keeping in touch across the net.

New ways to use Twitter continues to expand by its millions of users. For example, during the presidential primaries in the United States, several of the candidates used the power of Twitter to update their supporters ASAP. Democratic nominee Barack Obama has as of now, the most followers on Twitter, which is around 75,000 subscribers and growing.

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