Twitter. It's everywhere. You have probably heard major news network anchors and assorted personalities cheerfully invite you to 'follow' them on Twitter. Newspapers use Twitter; their online versions speckled with little blue Twitter icons, begging to be clicked. Universities, hospitals, major corporations, car dealerships, grocery stores - they all have Twitter accounts.
What is Twitter?
According to their website, "Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?"
Imagine asking a question and getting answers within minutes from colleagues, friends, co-workers, anyone within your network. This is what Twitter does.
What is Twitter used for?
You post, or 'tweet' a question or comment, then your network sees what you posted and comments back to you. Twitter is faster than email because people don't wait until they are back in the office to reply to you, as they often do with email. You can share and receive messages anywhere because Twitter is easy to use on your mobile phone, Blackberry, iPhone, or PDA.
What you post on Twitter can be anything - you can send a question or request for information, make a comment about something you heard or read, or share a link to an online journal or newspaper article.
Twitter & You
Twitter is confusing, but it is a dynamic communication tool.
For example, you might read an interesting article you wish to share, such as "Captivating story about med school student w/brain cancer researching a cure. @ ChicagoTribune.com".
You might use Twitter to spread awareness of an issue, such as Dr Anas Younes who uses Twitter to share information for those who live and work with Hodgkin's lymphoma. "Why Do I Tweet?" Dr Anas Younes, on Medicine and Social Media
You might also use Twitter to look for feedback or input, such as blog writer, Twitter user and Primary Care doc Kevin Pho who frequently asks for input on topics that interest him. "Is Twitter necessary for physicians and other medical professionals?"
Special thanks to Bonnie Anderson, in beautiful St. Louis Missouri, for assistance with this article.
Originally posted by Carrie Saarinen at 7/24/2009 on her TechNotes blog.