Twitter isn’t a Website

A buddy of mine wanted to know what all the Twitter Buzz was about. He mentioned the “F” word…”Fad” and it really made me think about why I feel so strongly that Twitter isn’t just a fad.

Maybe Twitter will someday be bought by Google, maybe another “Twitter” look-a-like will come out and be better in some way. However what people don’t understand is that Twitter is not a website. It’s a way of communication. It’s like saying emailing is just a fad, or text messaging, Blogs, or online forums. The combination of the four are exactly what Twitter is.

Twitter shouldn’t be measured by the visits people are making to it’s website. Something Pete Cashmore points out about Nielson’s Twitter Retention Stats saying they don’t get all the return visits they should. I use Twitter ALL DAY and hardly ever go to Twitter.com (I’ll show you how below).

Twitter differentiates itself from other “Social Networking” sites because it’s primary purpose is to tell you what is happening Right now (with an emphasis on RIGHT NOW). Having problems with your internet connection in your area? Do a Twitter Search for your cable company, someone else is probably having the same issue RIGHT NOW. Watching the show 24? Twitter Search #24 (especially during the show) and see everyone else yapping away about Jack and how this season is getting out of hand with too many twists (sorry). Part of Twitter is getting to know people with common interests. Which is why it’s sometimes good to curse your favorite baseball team on Twitter when they’re losing because misery loves company and someone else is probably watching as well (and miserable).

My point is people sign up to a Twitter account and automatically think they’re gonna see the whole picture. It’s like having an email account and not having anyone else’s email and no one has yours- The benefits of email are when you’re communicating!

Some Twitter tips:

First off- Don’t use the Web. Download an application that doesn’t restrict you to your browser. Tweetdeck, Twhirl, Seesmic Desktop or my personal favorite DestroyTwitter.

Go to TweetGrid and find the people that are talking about your interests and follow those people.

Get involved in the conversation. The biggest mistake I see businesses making is using Twitter as their one way broadcasting system. I hardly follow those businesses/people. I say hardly, because I do follow CNN’s Breaking News as well as the NY Daily News which don’t get involved in any conversations.

The other benefit of Twitter which is unlike other Social Networking sites: By letting people follow you, you’re not giving them access to all of your personal info and pics. They won’t see pics of you and your dog.

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