I Twitter, Therefore I Am

By Marilynne Rudick on June 12, 2010

The exponential growth in people using Twitter brings to mind a Yogi Berra-ism: “It’s impossible to get a conversation going. Everyone’s talking too much!”

Indeed it seems like everyone uses Twitter. Posts (called tweets) answer this question: What are you doing? Twitter limits answers to 140 characters per posting. Twitter’s power is that it is instant and mobile. You can send and receive a tweet on just about any device—your computer, your cell phone, Blackberry, or iPhone.

On Twitter, you sign up to follow people (friends, celebrities, business leaders, colleagues, companies or organizations), and people sign up to follow you. Do you care what these people are doing? Maybe not what they’re eating for lunch (but perhaps who they’re having lunch with and where!). You may be interested in a tweet that tells you where your friend is going for the weekend and asks you to join, that a celeb is coming to your town. You may want to get ongoing insights from a thought leader in your field.

You can tweet your followers for a recommendation: “I’m in Des Moines. Know a sushi place?” Or let followers know about something to do right now. “Turn on CNN to see report on new cancer treatment.”

How Else Are People Using Twitter?

  • Politicians tweet schedules and answer constituent questions. “Town hall meeting on health care, Leesburg Library, 10am.”
  • News organizations solicit opinions and do instant polling. “New CNN Poll shows 86% of Americans believe government is broken.”
  • Colleges use it as part of their emergency notification protocol. “Fire in North Hall, evacuate.”
  • Eyewitnesses break news. “Explosion on Louisiana Oil Rig.”
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tweets food recalls. “Romaine lettuce distributed to in-store salad bars & delis, food service & wholesalers, possible E. coli.”
  • Reporters tweet during events. “Toyota president testifies on Capitol Hill. Can’t recall much.”
  • Anybody can organize a tweetup. “Snowball fight in Dupont Circle, 2 pm.”
  • Even NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander tweeted. “Descent thrusters moved the topsoil during landing, uncovering the ice table.”

Learn More

  • For  simple explanation of Twitter, check out Common Craft’s video Twitter in Plain English. (2 min 33 sec)
  • For a fun guide to all-things-Twitter, read The Twitter Book by Tim O’Reilly & Sarah Milstein.
Categories: Blogging, E-Mail & Messaging, Social Networking
Tags: , ,


  • Yes, as more social networking tools and toys become available, it’s hard to keep up. And I find that sometimes I have lots to say, and sometimes nothing.

    Posted by: Marilynne Rudick on June 16, 2010 at 4:42 pm

  • I find myself using twitter in spurts. I’m away from it for a while, then go back and use it intensely for a very short time… don’t you find it too much to always keep up?

    Posted by: Steve on June 16, 2010 at 4:15 pm

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