The Benefits of Twitter

Follow Me on TwitterAfter all these years, it still amuses me to hear people say “I don’t understand Twitter.”  It’s funny how we take for granted that something that has become so seemingly common place to many of us is still a mystery to others.  Twitter defines itself as:  “a real~time information network powered by people all around the world that lets you share and discover what is happening now.”  In other words, it’s a community of people who share information as it happens.

So how is this useful?  Oh, let me count the ways…

1.  Instant Answers ~ Sometimes I have questions about things like blogging and it’s great to be able to tap the hive mind and get an immediate answer.

2.  Conference tweeting ~ Because I’m not working as a librarian, I can’t afford to attend different library conferences, but I can still get some of the benefits of attendance by reading the tweets of librarians in attendance.

3.  Sense of community ~ Yes, I can draw support from my face~to~face friends but being able to connect to a community of like~minded folks is a wonderful thing.

4.  Instant news ~  We’ve all seen news reports about people finding out about arrests, earthquakes and floods not from traditional news outlets but from Twitter and, honestly, this is how I get most of my news.  I do follow~up with traditional news outlets but I rely on Twitter for breaking information.

Yes, Twitter can be overwhelming and it can be full of mindless chatter but there are tools that you can use to make Twitter a more positive experience:

1.  TweetDeck ~ Quite possibly my favorite desktop Twitter platform because it’s so easy to use.  You can save customize your Twitter experience by saving searches, connect with Facebook or Myspace, etc.

2.  Seesmic ~ My favorite mobile Twitter platform.  I have a Droid and I’ve found that Seesmic is the easiest to use but when I had my BlackBerry I used UberTwitter.

3.  Twitter Lists ~ I divide the people that I follow into lists based on how I’ve met them or what they mostly tweet about, this helps to cut out chatter by following only the conversations that I’m interested in at that moment.

Twitter may not be for everyone, but I’ve found that it’s a wonderful tool for promoting my blog posts, sharing information with others and simply connecting with people outside of my immediate neighborhood.  Do you use Twitter?  If so, what do you see as some of the benefits?  And if not, why not?

This post was written as part of the 31 Day Problogger Challenge that is being sponsored by SITS.

  • Pingback: Living Outside the Stacks » Keystone College Library is Tweeting()

  • Thanks for the information I think Twitter has become really more helpful these days,wonderful tool sharing information with others and it also applies with various more benefits…Thanks for sharing…

  • That reminds me, I still need to explain this to my roommate. She thinks it’s like texting strangers…not at all!
    Ronnica recently posted…The Big One-Oh-Oh-OhMy Profile

    • Daenel

      LOL I love that “texting strangers.” That is hilarious. Thank you for stopping by.

  • Instantdocs

    It was a terrible experience for me in the beginning but now I’m quite accustomed with Twitter. It is a power packed social networking sites that provides the platform for mutual communication. The information in this post will be helpful for the freshers. Thanks for the same. Bye.

  • I may give Twitter another go Dani. Thanks. I had it but deactivated it because of all the mindless chatter that wasted my time. I hadn’t considered professional applications of it, or did I know about the sorting options like Tweetdeck.

    I’ll let you know how it goes!

    • Daenel

      Mylynka, I think if you’re selective about who you follow and then branch out from there Twitter can be useful. From a professional standpoint, I found it to be invaluable when I was trying to find out information about preservation and things like that. People are always ready, willing and able to help.

  • Sara R-The Millennial Housewife

    Hey there! Thanks for stopping by the other day from the 31DBBB challenge. LOVE your blog….I’m a fellow bookie too! I just read two that I will be reviewing soon. Do you do Book Blogs?

    Btw – they are showing old Nanny reruns on TVland!
    Sara R-The Millennial Housewife recently posted…Whats Cheap TodayMy Profile

    • Daenel

      Thank you for visiting, Sara. I post my book reviews on this blog and on some commercial sites as well as LibraryThing and Goodreads. Do you post your reviews on those sites?

      Love Nick @ Nite.

  • Sara Plays House

    Hooray! I’ve been wanting a new Twitter app for my droid and seesmic seems perfect. Just installed it. Thanks for the recommendation, lady!
    (One should ALWAYS trust a librarian.)
    Sara Plays House recently posted…Saturday Night Cake ShowMy Profile

    • Daenel

      Yes, Sara, “One should ALWAYS trust a librarian.” LOL You know I tried both UberTwitter and Twitter for my Droid and neither of them worked very well for me. I had never used Seesmic before but it seems to work the best for me. I’m not finished experimenting yet, but for right now I’m satisfied.

  • I remember being baffled by Twitter at first, but I heard about how at one of the Medical Library Association conferences, there was a lively discussion going on among participants on Twitter, and that made a lot of sense to me. My husband finds a lot of good jazz on Twitter, and that’s how we met Sunna Gunnlaugs, Icelandic jazz pianist, at a gig she did in NJ–which was so much fun, and makes the world a more intimate place.
    Margaret Almon recently posted…Wordless Wednesday- Mosaic Gazing Ball in Red Orange SwirlMy Profile

    • Daenel

      Margaret, that is so awesome. I love hearing about people who find new interests through Twitter, it’s even better when someone “in the field” connects with them. Initially, Twitter can be overwhelming but if you learn to control the noise, it can, as you said, make the world a more intimate place.

Living Outside the Stacks is using WP-Gravatar

Content Protected Using Blog Protector By: PcDrome.