It seems like everyone these days is now Twittering – the micro blogging platform in which people “follow” each others’ updates via a live, instant message-like chat stream. You will see my recent Twitter updates on the top of the sidebar on the right-hand side of my blog.
I first started Twittering in November of 2007 when UBD attended the Blog World Expo. I used Twitter to keep my readers up to date of what I was doing while we were in Vegas at the expo.
At that time, not many other people were using Twitter and I had less than 10 followers. Now, in the past week, the number of people following me on Twitter has more than tripled!
What accounts for such a rapid increase in the number of Twitter users and followers?
About a week ago I told John Chow to get on Twitter, and within a few minutes he was signed up and following me. In the past week, John now has almost 500 people following him on Twitter.
Many people seem to think Twitter is just useless bantering, but I have started to see its benefits. For example, Twitters allows you to:
- Keep up to date with what your friends and colleague are doing
- Be on the cutting edge of breaking news – for example, TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington posts tidbits of upcoming news which have not yet appeared on his site
- Keep you readers updated of your new blog posts using the Twitter Updater WordPress plugin
- Share interesting stories or websites you have found with your followers
- Start conversations with people whom otherwise you may never talk to
- Network and become more well-known within online communities
- Ask questions and receive answers from the people who follow you
I asked John, “Is Twitter just useless chat or do you think it allows you to better keep in touch with your readers?” This was his response:
Twitter is like having one big mega chat room. It can be a huge time waster or a good marketing channel depending on how you go about it. I got on twitter as a marketing move and I’m trying very to keep it from being a time waster. It’s VERY HARD!
I have noticed that as more of the people I know have started twittering, I have become more a more active Twitterer myself. In the past week, for example, I have updated Twitter (a.k.a “Tweeted”) over 70x… Compare that to less than 10x in the previous 5 months.
Writing a quality blog post takes significant time and effort, but with Twitter, you only have 140 characters to post, so no one is expecting a novel. A good “Tweet,” as they are called, may simply be a link to a cool blog post, or a question/answer to a problem a fellow Twitterer is having.
I highly recommend Twitter to anyone who is looking to network within a community and potentially increase new readers for their websites or blogs. I know that I will be using Twitter more over the next few months to stay in contact with my readers and also to network with people. I have even started to receive quite a few “follow” requests from many people local to me in Scottsdale, Arizona.
So, what are you waiting for? Follow me on Twitter!