I have actually been on Twitter for some time now. But I wanted to update all of you with some social networking features the site now has and ways you can get more out of the content. Today, I will just talk about Twitter.
I really like Twitter as a platform. What separates Twitter from some social networking sites is that it is an asynchronous communication channel. On Facebook or LinkedIn, for example, in order to friend someone, you need to have them confirm you as their friend. That means you can affect a walled communication garden of your friends, where anything you say is only heard by them. On Twitter, I can ‘follow’ you without your having to follow me back. That’s what I mean by asynchronous.
The advantage is clear for any news agency or celebrity trying to get their stories out or burnish their public profile. You can see who’s who on Twitter via a number of third party sites. Twittercounter gives you the top Twitter users by number of followers (right now it’s Ashton Kutcher with 3.8 million followers. @aplusk is his handle. The site Twitterholic ranks the top 100 twitterholics as well.
I use Twitter for three things: to talk directly in real time with the people who read my stuff, to alert people of new content on the site also in real time, and to highlight what I am seeing and reading that shapes my views. I would love to see more of you signing up for Twitter and following me (my handle is @edwardnh). Whenever I post a new story, I always announce it immediately via Twitter. So Twitter is now the best way to catch content on Credit Writedowns in real time and to see what I am up to – much better than newsletters or even RSS.
By the way, please retweet my posts. Retweeting is where you copy my tweet and put the handle RT @edwardnh in front of it and tweet it to your followers. The more retweets you give our content, the more people it reaches.
There are great ways to use twitter apart from the web. My three favorite Twitter clients are TweetDeck, Digsby and Seesmic. All of these platforms allow you to see updates from your Facebook friends and Twitter followers. Digsby also notifies you about e-mail, LinkedIn and Instant Messenger updates. You can also get Twitter on the iPhone and other cellphones.
That’s it. I look forward to hearing from you all.