Twitter receives all kinds of comments, both good and bad. Some people do not like it because they find it to be too public and for the most part I find that people just need some training to really make it useful for them. There are a lot of resources on-line for how to use Twitter, etc. I am not going to spend my time on that..
I use Twitter as a personal information gathering service. I follow all kinds of people, businesses, groups, etc. to stay up-to-date on the breaking information. For instance, as I was writing this post I checked my Twitter account and there was an emergency at a local school building which I was able to communicate information to others in our office about and it is almost 8pm.
Over the last several weeks our office was under discussion in the State legislature for funding and I was able to follow several legislators and news services in Springfield to check-in on occasion to make sure I knew the latest information.
Twitter is not something that I have open all the time and constantly watching. I will check in on occasion and scroll down the feed to see if there is anything interesting. In fact most tweets that you see will have a hashtag which you can click on and get further information on the discussion.
On the right side of my blog page you can see tweets that I have put out or retweeted. You can also click on the Twitter graphic on the top right of my blog and directly link to my Twitter profile and see who I follow.
One tip I give people is when you set up your Twitter account you can just be a follower. Start by looking at all the people I follow or who follow me and click on them to see if your interested and you also have the option to follow them. When you start you probably won’t be tweeting and you may never. There is a lot of research numbers out there about he number of people who are just followers, and really…that is fine.
So, if you’re not on Twitter you should be and start following at least 30-50 people and see what is happening. Then search on YouTube for a few good videos on Twitter and how you can use it in your profession.
As you get more interested in Twitter check out TweetDeck which allows you to do a lot more and follow various searches or tags on the screen at once. It is what CNN has used in the past during election night coverage or other emergencies to see what people are saying.
I have Twitter clients on my Mac, iPhone, and iPad so it is something always available.
Good luck..have fun!