Twitter is fun. It’s just that simple. Well, that’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it! . I think it’s great. I use this app everyday. I use it when I wake up in the morning to see how my twitter friends (tweeps) are doing. I use it to pass the time on my commute to and from work. I use it to follow the latest in breaking news. I use it to spread the word about my blogs, videos and charity I’m working on. I also use it to ramble about the silliness of day-to-day life and the strange things I observe while wandering the streets and train stations of Japan.
My Twitter Story:
I began using Twitter about a year and a half ago. I was by no mans an early adopter. I had of course heard of it a lot and knew many people using it. I just hadn’t caught up. I started using the Twitter page itself when I opened my @jlandkev account. Then I installed Tweetdeck on my desktop. It was interesting to use, but not particularly fun. I could only use it a little at night when I got home and missed most of what people where tweeting about throughout the day when I wasn’t in front of my computer.
A little more than a year ago, I got my first smartphone. I bought an iPhone and that was the Twitter “game changer” so to speak. On the advice of some folks I installed Twittelator on my phone. It was so much fun. I could tweet and read tweets from others wherever I was. Although cool to me, I think my wife was thoroughly annoyed that my face was always buried in my iPhone, laughing about something that someone, somewhere had written.
I realized that Twitter was a great way to promote my videos on You Tube. It was even more useful in promoting my blog posts. It seems that the people who are really engaged by Twitter are more “text oriented” people such as bloggers. Many who are into “visuals” such as video blogs, don’t seem to have such a strong interest in Twitter (my observation).
On May 11, 2011, when the massive earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan, Twitter was the fastest way to get news. I followed more than a dozen news sources and what stood out more than anything were the blogggers. Japan-based bloggers throughout the country stepped up to the plate and were tweeting news much faster than traditional news organizations could churn it out. By following some good people, you could be way ahead of most when it came to news of the disaster. News organizations such as BBC, ABC, Fox, CNN, etc., were following the same bloggers I was and simply reporting what those bloggers were saying!
I was on vacation the day after the disaster happened and for almost three weeks I was constantly tweeting about the disaster and retweeting amazing bits of news from so many sources. Many friends back in Canada commented that they appreciated me keeping them updated in such an instantaneous fashion. The number of people following me jumped very quickly and I was even contacted by some news organizations in Canada about the disaster. Since I was of course nowhere close to the affected areas, I just referred them to solid bloggers who were.
Since the news cycles around the world have changed and even domestic news about the disaster has waned, I don’t use Twitter as ferociously as before, but I still use it everyday. With my job, I don’t check it throughout the day while I am teaching, but I do check my feed at break time and after work of course. It is a lot of fun!
Now who do I follow on Twitter? I follow a pretty broad spectrum of people and organizations. I follow news agencies, reporters, charities, bloggers, runners, teachers, friends, family, etc. I don’t tend to follow big celebrities such as singers and actors. I find that they normally have little to say, yet speak a lot!
Twitter can be even more fun when it is integrated into other iPhone apps.
I recently started using the Runmeter iPhone app while training for an upcoming marathon. A great twitter feature is that once I begin a run, it sends a tweet informing everyone I am now running. Then, when someone sends me a message on twitter, the app reads it to me as I am running (in a pretty decent voice). It is great for motivation! On June 12, 2011, when I am running my ultra marathon for Save the Children Japan, please tweet me a lot! I will hear them all as my running app reads them to me.
Instagram is another fun way to use Twitter. It is a free app for the iPhone and it allows me to take pictures, add really cool filters and share them within the Instagram social network. It also posts them to Twitter and Facebook so I can share them with my friends there.
Am I addicted to Twitter? Maybe a little. I have to admit that I don’t use it as much as I did a few months ago.
Is it a useful tool? As a blogger and aspiring “writer-guy” it certainly is for me. I currently have more than a thousand followers on Twitter and it is a great way to share my blogs and other projects with a wider audience.
In my previous post I mentioned how I am moving away from one form of media (You Tube), but I am not moving away from media altogether. I am still an avid Twitter user and blogger.
Am I a bit of a Twitter fanboy? I suppose so. If you think that’s a really bad thing; I stick my tongue out at you and say, “ blah blah waggle blarg blaaaaaaahh!!!” in my best four-year-old voice!
You can follow me on Twitter here: @jlandkev