It’s one of those polarizing technology in which you either got it or you don’t. Common Craft did a great 2 min YouTube video about what Twitter is and I encourage you who is wondering what in the bird it is to watch it before continuing.
Done? Now that you have a clearer understanding of Twitter, let’s answer the more important question: so what? In other words, why would I want to use this service?
The short video already gave a situation where you might want to use to: to follow the lives of your friends; so I won’t go into that. Rather, I’d share my own journey with Twitter.
I have a Twitter account and I tried updating it for a while with the things I’m doing but somehow I couldn’t upkeep it. Nor do I follow a gazillion number of people. It’s because I can’t see how anyone is interested in when I buy something, or if I’m having coffee at Starbucks, nor do I want to know if anyone is picking their nose. You must be thinking this now: it’s Facebook statuses on the go, with the power of choosing which people’s statuses you want to see. Yes it is.
So now my Twitter account is just linked to my personal blog and it serves as a feed to those who follow me. Occasionally (like once a few months) when I feel like it I’d update it with something apart from my blog.
But TOOZE changed that; I suddenly saw a value in Twitter. I wrote a short post about Angry Birds coming to the Web, and about Nikon’s D90 being discontinued. Now, these are not opinion pieces; they are just information that has a time value on it (meaning it’s less valuable as time passes and more people know it). Instead of posting it as a post, I realized I could just tweet it, post the tweet on TOOZE and be done with it. Furthermore, I’m now following a lot of other tech news which allows me the option of retweeting their (news) tweets, saving me time in writing a post, which implies I’d get more time to write something more meaningful.
So Twitter has become a sort of news feed for TOOZE, while the blog remains more of a review/opinion column.
After reading this, you’d probably be asking: ok… so what’s next for me? Well, if you are interested in knowing if your friend bought a new dress, or just painted a masterpiece, and don’t have a way of knowing that real-time or even soon enough, try Twitter between the two of you. If you are interested in following news but don’t subscribe to RSS, you might want to follow the tweets of major news publishers.
Else, you might want to just leave this service alone… until there is a reason to use it or someone important bugs you to do it.