I nearly forgot to post today. I am putting the at in scatty today.

The other night I was in the pub with some colleagues and the conversation turned to twitter. Actually I think I may have turned it by twittering.  My cries of: it’s microblogging [what’s microblogging?] Erm…, it’s like the status line on facebook but public [I don’t use Facebook] and you just tell people what you’re doing [What – like if you’re having a poo?] fell on uncomprehending ears. To be fair I think the beer on either side had something to do with it but no one at the table seemed to get it and I got to wondering just how you actually explain twitter to people who don’t understand it?

Here’s how I see it:

1. Twitter is a conversation between people who share interests.

2. That conversation is conducted, for the most part, in public or in small groups and it verges from the inane (including I’m sure references to poo*) to the fascinating.

3. Each Tweet is restricted to 140 characters and this encourages brevity and irritating abbreviation lk ths.

4. If you know who to follow it can be used for picking up breaking news, insight and emerging trends.

5. If you harbour ambitions in hard to get areas – like any network – it can be leveraged to help you.

6. It can be used as a more user friendly RSS feed by online publishers with rapidly changing, high value content.

7. It can be used by celebrities, pundits and artists to maintain a dialogue with user that lies somewhere between a blog, email and chatroom. Very handy for presenters on suspension.

8. Popular with geeks and a simple platform has led to a ton of useful tools that extend the functionality.

9. As with any network site (including the pub) it is, as another twitter user observed, a time sink.

10. It is NOT the next big marketing channel. It IS a golden opportunity to see what kind of scuttlebutt your generating AND, dare I say it, to interact with your audience. Like any social media you need to give people a powerful reason to interact with you.

And lastly, as anyone who follows my inane tweets knows, it’s like Internet Crack.

* I haven’t looked, you understand…

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