Oh – Twitter! How I love thee! Let me count the ways!
I signed up for Twitter in April 2007. I admit, when I first started using Twitter I wasn’t really quite sure what to do with it. I also had no idea what was going on. There were all of these weird abbreviations like RT and people kept using pound signs. I kept thinking to myself: how am I ever going to figure this out? And what the heck does all of this mean? I finally found a Twitter definition site that explained it for the most part. The rest of it just took practice. Now, I am not sure what I would do without Twitter. I know it sounds pretty silly. Just yesterday, we had the lights go out in the office and there were some major storms in SW Kansas. The lights were out for about 30 minutes. Come to find out the power being out had nothing to do with the weather. It was only cloudy in Dodge, but there was bad weather going on in other parts of Western Kansas including my home town of Lakin. I was able to follow the weather happenings through twitter on my phone while the electricity was out. Last summer, we also had a really bad storm and I was in the basement with my phone following weather updates on Twitter with my phone. Who would have thought?
I have also found it very useful for work. I follow several librarians from across SW Kansas, the state, and other locations. It’s a great way to get ideas and also to get help when you need it. No group of people like to help like librarians and they are usually right on top of things if you have a question. I also follow other techies from across the state. Twitter is a great way for us to collaborate and ask each other questions. I also feel like I am involved in these people’s lives more. Most of the time I might see my Twitter friends once a year if ever. There is a certain sort of friendship and comradery that takes place online.
I also quickly discovered that using a client helps a bunch to make Twitter much more user friendly. The one I usually use is called TweetDeck. It allows you have to have columns so you can see your Twitter stream, @ replies, and Dm’s all at once. You can also add columns for other things like searches. TweetDeck also makes things like retweets and replies much easier.
On my phone (an Android) I also use an application called Seesmic. It is also fairly easy to use and it’s what I probably use the most while I am at home.