"What are you doing?"

Sunday, May 3, 2009

That is the question that Twitter (the newest upcoming social network) asks its users. "What are you doing?," And as users answer this question they are posting a "tweet."

Twitter is a free service hosted website that allows users to publish short messages of 140 characters or less. These messages are read by "followers" — people who select to subscribe to your messages and have them delivered to their own Twitter home pages.

Like other social networks such as Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn, email and text messaging Twitter is another avenue people can use to share common interests and ask insightful questions, and, ideally, read the interesting answers you get back. Although many people use Twitter to keep their personal life updated. Twitter is very popular as a business tool as well.

Personal tweets are sometimes just random bits of personal dribble such as "The cashier at the grocery on Fourth Avenue is so rude." business tweets are more germane such as "I just read this fantastic book, "Rich Dad, Poor Dad." tremendously important financial advice.

The best way to begin with Twitter is to let it search for friends in your GMail or Yahoo address book. Or you can use the Twitter search tool to find friends by name. Also you should use the search tool by keywords, searching for subjects that you are most interested in, or organizations and groups. The main attraction of Twitter is that information flows to you.

One thing to remember is that Twitter is a publishing medium more open than any other social networks. What you say can affect your blog, your business, your personal relationships, and your reputation. Tweets are easily googled. In the advice of an old African proverb, "All truth is good, but not all truth is good to say." So if you are still curious to what all the fuss is about grab an account and Happy Twittering!

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