Twitter is a micro-blogging site that asks the question “What are you doing?” and allows you to post short (140 characters or less) answers to that question. Simple, yes? The more you look at Twitter, though, the more you learn you can do with it. Here’s a little that I have discovered so far –
Posts on Twitter are known as “Tweets.” Following the tweets of multiple folks provides you with an informational feed that can include everything from what your best friend had for lunch to news reports from major events. You can comment on what folks say by replying to them thusly “@fremontblog I totally agree.” (Yes, fremontblog is this blog’s account over on Twitter.) In this way your informational feed can become a conversation. You can use Twitter to alert folks to updates on your blog, ask questions of the world at large, report on events as they are happening, tell people about a cool site that you’ve found, and even indulge in a bit of haiku.
In addition, here are Five Fun Things You Can Do With Twitter:
1. There are people on Twitter who tweet as characters such as: Darth Vader and The Crew of Serenity (Mal, Kaylee, Simon, River, Jayne, Inara, Zoe, and Wash. ShepherdBook seems to have disappeared, sadly.)
2. There are all sorts of “official” informational feeds. Try: BBC (or BBCScotland, BBCWales), sfearthquakes, USGS, NASA (and CassiniSaturn, MarsRovers, MarsScienceLab, LRO_NASA, spaceweather, LunarOrbiter, APOD, the list goes on…), CNN, and CNN Breaking News.
3. There are also fun feeds, like TwitterLit that will post the first lines from random books. (KidderLit is available for Children’s books.)
4. Need a timer to remind you of something in half an hour? Send a direct message to timer. Need a weather forecast? Send a direct message to Forecast.
5. Search Twitter with Twitter Search. See what people are saying about a certain topic, or see what the current poplar topics are. In Advanced Search mode you can even look at tweets by area, ones from a certain person, and even ones with a “Positive Attitude” (a.k.a. 🙂 ).
So, there you are. A web 2.0 update for your Friday. If you encounter any more cool Twitter feeds or features, please let me know.
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