Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Twit Much?

It's funny, but since so many people are talking about Twitter - on the radio, on the tellybox, in newspapers and in the pub - you would think that everyone knew what it was by now.

I've had to explain it lots of times recently. Me, who only started tweeting at the beginning of January. One of my new year's resolutions that has not failed!! (Ahem - please note - I was still only in the first 40k to follow Mr Stephen Fry, just to put things in perspective...)

When George Hook and Rick O'Shea both tweeted directly at me today, I thought I better start sharing so that other people could get all excited for no reason on a random Wednesday afternoon.

So. Twitter. What the hell is this twitter business?

Well, if you take something like a status update from Facebook, and merge it with the concept of blogging, then you have the mashup of fun that is twitter.

It's defined as "micro-blogging" - in other words, you pop your thoughts online for others to see, you just have an SMS amount of character spaces to do it in!

In sum...
+ + =

Anyhoo, there are lots of people on Twitter these days, average people, big people, small people and famous people. Some of the famous ones are fun to follow, and a little inspirational at times.

I really liked John Cleese's Happy New Year message - or "tweet" - it was: may your new year's flatulence be tuneful and fragrantly innoffensive

You can follow him, here: @JohnCleese

What is following?

Well, it's just the name given to...signing up to hear what other people are saying - like seeing your Friends' status updates on Facebook. You click "Follow" on someone's page, and all of a sudden your own homepage will include everything they say/tweet.

The Hookie Monster has two Twitter accounts, this one gets more action though: @ghook
Rick tweets quite a bit during his broadcasts: @rickoshea

For obvious reasons I love keeping up to date with this marvellous man. He doesn't tweet often, but when he does it's always something groovy. @richardbranson

There are tons of others to follow if you find them interesting. Don't worry that you have to follow everyone who follows you, a lot of strange beings start following you just to get you to follow them back - then they proceed to spam-tweet with so much no attention. Have a look at their page, if it looks dull, don't bother following! A good clue to their spam-potential is that they are literally following thousands, but only have a few followers themselves.

From a business perspective, Twitter is a great way for your customers to get in touch with you, and for you to let them know what's going on with you. I started following @VodafoneIreland and asked them a few questions - which they replied to. It's just good business... I've changed to o2 but that's not the point ;)

Business is all about staying in touch. You can talk to experts like @damienmulley about how to really do all modes of social media well, but at least with Twitter you can dip your own toe in the murky waters and find out for yourself. DIY = not costing a fortune. And at least you'll know what they are talking about when you do start speaking to the experts about these things...

Happy Twittering!

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