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First written 06th October 2008 - Updated 29th January 2010

Is their a point to Twitter?

Ok there has been lots of talk about this site so I have decided to have a look and see what all the excitement is about.

Twitter describes itself as "A free social messaging utility for staying connected in real-time".

twitter

Joining
I joined Twitter and found I was unable to actually find out how to update my status and shortly after becoming very bored I decided to upload an image only to receive the following error..

And oddly after that I was invited to update my status!

Looking at other members statuses I notice not many updates were very recent, most had joined posted an update or two and left a year ago, obviously I was not the only one who is going to find twittering a very short lived experience but having said that some people have 1000’s of updates and 1000’s of followers, who were these people? Not that I follow celebrities I wondered was anybody famous twittering?

too many twitters

I tried a search on Google for “famous people on twitter” and it appears I was not the first to ask and I was also not the first to wonder what the point of twitter is either then it dawned on me, it has no point which is what makes it so talked about.

It has become a subject in its own right, even I am writing about it, people study it, produce statistics on it and twitter on all day about it, it becomes marmite, either you love it or hate it.

So how does it work?

Twitter talks about staying connected in real time but is this not what mobile phones were designed for?
Ok so you make a profile, upload a profile image or avatar, add your website link if you have one and then start Tweeting.
Your followers read your Tweets and you may follow others and read their Tweets.
A Tweet is a comment limited to 160 characters and will usually reflect what you are doing or feeling, this is commonly called your status.
If you are using it for business then the launch of a new product can be announced but for the non business user dose it really have any practical use?

I am frankly bemused at the popularity of Twitter after all its only function is something already offered by other social networking sites. Other social networking sites not only allow you to update your status but they also have many other functions or application built in. Some even allow you to make your own applications so how can something so limited be so successful?

Follow me, follow you

Once you have registered on Twitter you may follow people, this action allows you to receive an update if they post a new Tweet, others may also follow you and likewise they can be updated about your latest Tweets.
It fast becomes a competition, mention to your friends you’re on Twitter and they will ask “How many followers do you have”? so once you have followed all your friends and idols you begin to randomly follow anybody.

It’s all about Status

I have since learned with the exception of business use or unless you’re a famous person it is definitely all about your status. Twitter has you fooled into thinking your tweets are of some importance to others, something happened in your day that you feel the need to share with the world, you tweet this feeling or experience because it makes you feel important because you think your followers are reading it whereas in reality you may as well send your post to the recycle bin as it is of absolutely no interest to anyone and nobody is reading it.
Your followers are not interested in your comments they only hope you follow them back!

So what about business use?

I am using Twitter for one of my business websites however what I am noticing is that I am receiving very few real followers, by that I mean followers that are actually interested in my Tweets or followers that may be interested in my products or services. The followers I have are other business in the same field.
While it is important to watch your competitors and equally important for them to watch your business I can’t help feeling there is nothing to gain from this, if anything it is a disadvantage in some ways as they can copy and counter act your every move.

Will I get famous?

In short yes, Twitter has the world fooled and hence some very big organisations use it.
If you’re lucky and time you’re Tweets carefully and post messages to a major business user it just might get some very big publicity.
One example of this occurred on 29th January 2010 during the Iraq War enquiry which was covered live on Sky News. At one point they were displaying messages posted to Sky News direct from the Twitter web site live on the TV.

Twitter On Sky News

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These are some interesting articles, devices and features I have found relating to Twitter that I will discuss later in more detail.

Twitdress
The first item of interest is that Twitter has found fame at the 52nd Annual Grammy awards with the help of Imogen Heap who for reasons unknown wore a Twitdress as it is now being described.
The Twitdress appears to be a fashion add-on that allows her to watch twitter updates live with the device. I am intrigued as to what and who motivated this. Was she sponsored by Twitter, was it her designers or managers move or was it her own personal idea? I had not heard of Imogen Heap before and a number of other people won Grammys that evening but she seemed to steal the publicity by wearing the device so whoever’s idea it was it was certainly a good publicity move.

Who made the Twitterdress

The Twitterdress was designed by Moritz Waldemeyer who has made a mark in the field of fashion and design. His innovative projects with an emphasis on LED lighting effects include Video Dresses, Laser Stage Suit and Colour Reactive Chairs.
I will be eagerly awaiting the announcement of his next project.

http://www.waldemeyer.com/Imogenheap.html

http://mashable.com/2010/01/31/grammys-imogen-heap-twitdress/

TwitterPeek
The next article is apparently the worlds first dedicated Twitter device. TwitterPeek is a hand held mobile device that allows you to read and send tweets, it is suggested it is affordable at $99 with 6th months of service. These are available at Amazon however they are only available in the US.
I can’t help feel that people won’t pay when you can use the service for free via your mobile or the web. But then who would have thought the virtual gift market was worth billions but that is a different subject.

TwitterPeek
http://www.simplehelp.net/2008/04/16/20-ways-to-use-twitter-on-your-cell-phone-or-mobile-internet-device/
http://twitpic.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Twitter_services_and_applications

Photos and Video on Twitter
Also if you’re wondering how a text based service displays photos and video then you need to look at http://twitpic.com/ and http://yfrog.com/

 
 
 

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Is their a point to Twitter? January 2010
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