Did you know that of all adult Internet users in North America, one-in-three maintained a social networking profile last year (according to Nielsen Media Research? Despite its sudden rise in popularity, lots of people are still asking "What is Twitter?" (now the #3 social networking site on the web).
Twitter, as twitheads know it, is a micro-blogging website where ideas can be shared with friends (or "followers"), 140 characters at a time -- from your computer or smart phone. Some think of it as a tool that bridges the gap between your social profile (like UnHub, Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn) and your blog. Others think of it as something that shares "behind-the-scenes" thoughts in real-time (where I'm at, what I'm doing right now).
So, what is twitter to me? I see it as the today's smarter form of old-school "water cooler talk".
It's collaboration and shared conversation, like seeing and participating in Seth Godin's "Tribes" concept as it happens.
And a great way for brands to take care of customers (by listening).
Additional media trend watchers even think Twitter could challenge Google in the search business, because Twittering is real-time search.
In business, it can be a great way to boost your company's online brand reputation, build your business and establish a closer interactive link with your customers.
However, advertisers still view social as an experimental business model, which means traditional media remains a little slow embracing it.
Twitter is whatever you want it to be. A public "instant message" forum, a professional marketing or PR tool, a job hunt assistant, or a buzz monitor on what's hot right now. It all depends on the network you build of people you follow and who follows you.
Most major news sources (both national and local) are there for breaking news and web updates (@CNN, @ABCnews, @CBSnews, @NBCnews, @CBCnews, as well as online sources like @DrudgeReport, @HuffingtonPost, @The Daily Show, @The Colbert Report, @The Onion, @Gawker, etc.).
Celebrities are doing it (@Aston Kutcher, @Demi Moore, @Jimmy Fallon). Celebrity impersonators are doing it (a sexy fake @Megan Fox or a drunk @Lindsay Lohan). @Paris Hilton doesn't use it as much lately; maybe that's because gossip blogger @Perez Hilton is now there (with 240,000 followers).
Marketing gurus (@Guy Kawasaki, @Chris Brogan) are doing it. AOL's founder and creator of the Instant Message is tweeting instead of IMing (@Steve Case). Major brands are doing (@Skittles). Even @Barack Obama was doing it on the campaign trail, helping him build up grass-roots support.
So what exactly is Twitter? View this simple explanation video below and get twittering:
Even NBC's The Today Show shows you how to do it:
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Thursday, March 19, 2009,