There has been a lot published lately about Twitter, a popular, interactive, micro-blogging service that continues to gain thousands of users every day. Still there is some confusion we’re often asked “What all can you do with Twitter?” and “How is that different than Facebook status?” Well, the great thing about Twitter is, the way you use it is up to you. Here are some ideas.
Most people who use Twitter, or “tweeples,” become active in their community by posting their thoughts and activities, links of interest, inspirational quotes, direct messages, responses to other tweets, recent news or blog posts, and event planning. As you begin to connect to others on Twitter, you might find that people in your network regularly posts things apply to your life and job, interests, geographic location, etc.
Want to push the envelope a little farther? Twitter’s framework makes it possible for developers to come up with more and more ways to use it in new and interesting ways. Here are some other ways Twitter can be used the way you want to use it.
Schedule Your Tweets
If you find yourself traveling a lot or attending a full day of meetings, Tweetlater is a Twitter tool for scheduling your posts. Also you may find that scheduling your posts will be less distracting during a demanding project or training session. You can schedule to publish a blog post accompanied by a scheduled Twitter post. (Warning WordPress users: Tweetlater advises not to use the Tweetlater blog feeds with the WordPress Twitter Tools plugin.)
Enhance your Tweets with images
Twitter is a quick way to share images that may be job-related or for personal reasons. Upload images of the food you’re eating, the nice weather you’re experiencing, or “here’s what I’m seeing but can’t describe” to TwitPic. You can also upload from your mobile or use their API (application programming interface). A link will be posted in your status for others to look at and comment.
Survey Your Tweeps
What to know what your co-workers think of an idea, theory, application, or if they like the new Facebook interface? Twtpoll lets you create a survey among your Facebook, Twitter, or email community. You give your Twitter user name, a question, and multiple choice answers. The results will be measured by a pie chart. One may also leave a comment about the poll.
You may be interested in reading what others are sharing about a particular topic such as higher education, the economy, or even quantum mechanics. Use the Twitter Search to be exposed to new resources, tips, links, other professionals, and emotional responses on that topic. These tweets are reasonably listed from most recent to the oldest. Here’s how Twitter describes Twitter Search:
Searching over Twitter messages is like a filter for what is happening right now—it’s an interesting look into the real-time thoughts of people and organizations around the world. Whether you’re curious about something specific or you just want to browse the trending topics, we’ve found that Twitter Search adds a new layer of relevance.
If you find yourself actively following Twitter searches, you might be interested in using a third-party Twitter application such as TweetDeck or Seesmic Desktop. Both will let you create saved searches that automatically update as new tweets appear. You can also create groups to better follow your tweeps.
If you like to update your account while out and about, waiting for a meeting, or an appointment, look into a mobile app for your Twitter use. Blackberry users might like Twitterberry. This tool also makes it possible to upload images to TwitPic! Twitterberry can be downloaded from your Blackberry. In your Blackberry’s media browser, upload the image and select to “Send to Twitterberry” in the menu. The image will be given a link for others to click and view. You will then be able to send your tweet in Twitterberry. (View more Twitterberry screenshots.)
If you are an iPhone/iPod Touch user, you have numerous options, such as Twitter for iPhone or Twitterific. Refer to Macworld’s review of iPhone clients for more apps.
For sharing files, use TweetCube to upload files including images, videos, and music. You can upload .zip, .rar, .pdf, .jpg, .png, .gif, .txt, and .mp3 files. Your files will be posted on Twitter so be aware of your account settings.
On top of the tools already mentioned, here are more Twitter tools and applications that may help you use Twitter how you want: Unsure if your tweets are any good? Allow others to rate your tweets as useful, funny, or lousy. Use Tweeterate to rate posted tutorials, linked articles, or jokes by those you are following.
Get your Tweeple Together
A nice way to organize an event or meeting is the application twtvite. Easily type in the what, where, and when keeping it private or public. My favorite part is having the ability to re-tweet it, post it to Facebook and/or FriendFeed, and posting it to your calendar (iCal, Google Calendar, Outlook, and Yahoo).
More More More
What else would you like to know about Twitter? There is a colossal selection of Twitter applications for anything from travel organizer, twtTRIP, to gift registry, twtwlist, to timers, to Google Calendar integration and more.
If you are looking for more ideas about using Twitter read Mashable: HOW TO: Live Inside Twitter and Still Stay Productive by Elliott Kosmicki