For those who are not in the known, don’t watch Jonathan Ross, listen to the BBC or haven’t heard the buzz going around, then check out the Internet’s next big thing Twitter. Whilst it may have been around for the last 2 or so years, 2008 was the year that it really got going and 2009 the year it goes mainstream with Stephen Fry even discussing it on the Jonathan Ross show.
Twitter is the microblogging platform that allows you to update your status online, via SMS text or through a multitude of tools on your PC, mobile phone or some other gadget, all within 140 characters. The idea is to let people know (your followers), what you are up to, quick link to photos or about interesting articles/information your have found. To use a well used phrase ‘it’s like blogging on steroids’. Rather than spending hours constructing a well worded 1,000 word blog post that no one will read, use twitter and quickly write a 140 character update on what you are doing right there and then which your followers can then view instantly. Stephen Fry is the no.1 twitter ambassador who tweets (twitter message) every day, frequently replies to his followers and is set to surpass 200,000 followers any day. Believe it or not but at the end of Jan, Stephen was running a competition to celebrate his 50,000th follower, 4 weeks later he will be sure to hit 200k.
So what are the potential pitfalls you may ask ?
Hopefully none. It’s a great tool to follow like minded people and find information you may not have discovered yourself. Keep up to date with your friends and family, especially if they are on holiday. Be nosey and follow celebrities and discover they are just like us and generally their days are just as boring. But be careful ……
In the last week I have seen the following information filter through, which given the open structure of twitter may just be to open. It starts public and open, you have to set otherwise.
- People twitter about work colleagues - what if there colleagues follow them ?
- People twitter about client information - again what if the client follows then ?
- Information that could be sensitive to competitors - do you want to make that deal public yet ?
- Twitters about employers - would you boss mind ?
- Holiday information - would you really publicly broadcast your house is empty ?
Twitter is a great tool but make sure you understand what you are using and who is watching
If you must ask, yes you can follow me http://twitter.com/darrenram