What's all this Twitter about?

If you follow me on Twitter, feel free to ignore this entry; this information is not new to you. twitter

If you have no idea what Twitter is, please keep reading. Many friends, family and other readers to this site have asked what is all this Twitter about? Before we get started, let me just say that Twitter is not new. In fact, there were more than 14 million other people that discovered Twitter before me (courtesy of Twitterholic).

Wikipedia defines Twitter as, "... a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send "updates" (or "tweets"; text-based posts, up to 140 characters long) to the Twitter website, via short message service (SMS), instant messaging, or a third-party application..."

In short, Twitter is like text-messages you can follow online or via text message to your cell phone. The first person I started "following" on Twitter was David from the FredCast (the internet's premiere cycling podcast). With a quick text page of 'follow FredCast to 40404 I was getting text page updates from David. Besides getting updates on my cell phone, I can also go to the internet and read his updates there http://twitter.com/fredcast.

I now find myself following a handful of my podcast friends, other cyclists, writers, technology gurus, the three leading presidential candidates, and a guy I went to high school with among others. Twitter loads especially easy on my iPhone so I check it often throughout the day.

I also track keywords in the public Twitter via text message. By sending a text message of 'track beckwith' to 40404 I get updates to my cell phone any time someone in the Twitterverse uses the word 'beckwith'. What else am I tracking?

The name of the company where I work. Because I work for a large corporation with millions of customers it is very interesting to see what the Twitterverse thinks of us. Mostly negative, some positive, but still a interesting angle on the voice of the customer.

Where I live, where I ride, where I work. I track Stockton, Lodi, Pleasanton, Livermore. I also track 580 and 205 which helps when there is a traffic issue.

Still confused? Well, don't be. The fine folks at Common Craft have done it again with a great video explanation of Twitter. Check it outhere. twitterinpecc

Also, in case you always wanted to know what a podcast was, Common Craft has a great video explanation of that, too. After you watch that, hop on over to Pizza Go Here and subscribe to our podcast.

So, now you know all about Twitter. Sign up and follow me. You'll wonder how you ever lived without it.