Over the last few years the micro-blogging service Twitter.com has continued to increase in popularity. TV News shows, politicians, celebrities, corporations, your friends, and yes, public libraries are all using Twitter to communicate with the public.
If you aren’t familiar with Twitter, here is a short blurb from their “About” page:
Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest information about what you find interesting. Simply find the public streams you find most compelling and follow the conversations.
At the heart of Twitter are small bursts of information called Tweets. Each Tweet is 140 characters in length, but don’t let the small size fool you—you can share a lot with a little space.
For such a simple format, however, there is a lot to know about proper use of Twitter. Various features of the system allow you to tag concepts within your tweets and search for similar tweets, officially “mention” specific Twitter users within a post, respond to other users, block users from your account, etc.
One of the best articles I’ve come across on using Twitter is this one from Red Sweater Blog, Elements of Twitter Style. The author of this blog, Daniel Jalkut, is a Mac developer, and he’s really provided a nice resource for new Twitter users.
If you are more of a visual learner, I’d recommend this excellent video “How to Use Twitter” (see video below). With the limitation on message length, Twitter is particularly suited to use with mobile devices. This video addresses the use of mobile devices, privacy settings, and other operational details. If you think Twitter isn’t that useful, check out this story about this American journalism student who was wrongly arrested in Egypt, and quickly used Twitter to let friends know what had happened.