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What the heck is Twitter???

April 27, 2009

What is Twitter? At its heart, Twitter is just a communication tool.

Like the Web, and the phone and the telegram before it, it’s just a tool to let one person connect with another. It’s communication in real time.

Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing? It can be sent via mobile texting, instant message, or the web.

Why Twitter?  Because even basic updates are meaningful to family members, friends, or colleagues—especially when they’re timely.

Eating soup?  Research shows that moms want to know.

Running late to a meeting?  Your co–workers might find that useful.

Riding?   People may want to join you. 

With Twitter, you can stay hyper–connected to your friends and always know what they’re doing.

How Does Twitter Work?  Twitter users–often called Twitterers–have 140 characters to answer the question, “What are you doing?”

When you respond to that question, in 140 words or less, and click update, you are tweeting.  Your tweet is sent, in text form, to everyone that is following you.

You can “follow” other twitterers, which causes their updates to appear on your home page. In turn, they can follow you, a form of permission-based marketing. You can also direct message them, but always in 140 characters or less.

You can see your updates on your computer at the Twitter homepage. On their main homepage, you can see everyone in the world’s tweets. When you’re logged in as a registered user, you can choose to see everyone’s or just you & your friends. The stream of real-time messages you see is called a timeline.

You can also have the updates , or tweets, sent to your phone. I suggest only having them sent to your phone if you have an unlimited text-message plan with your cell carrier.

Below are some examples of some tweets from me and others I follow. I follow Ivan Basso, he’s an italian cyclist that will ride the Tour De France this year. (my 2nd favorite cyclist) I follow his training on Twitter. I follow Lance Armstrong… well, because he’s Lance Armstrong. (I am fascinated to see what he tweets about and how often he tweets; he tweets alot.) I follow a guy in NY named BJ Mendleson, he & his wife have dedicated their lives to cancer awareness. They are doing a lot of interesting stuff & tweet about that along with interesting cancer info, to raise public awareness. They’re cool.

 ivanbassoGood morning… Im home, breakfast with my family . Very nice!!

lancearmstrongAt the Hula Hut with kids and others. Nice to home for a few days. 

BJMendelsonLocal high school in Green Bay’s efforts against cancer 

SARideLikeAGirlOk, we are going to ride Hill Country Village @ 9:30am today. Meet @ 281/Winding Way, eye center

Ride Like A Girl is signed up on Twitter.  My twitter updates automatically show up on the blog & my facebook page, instantly.

On Sunday morning, after we sent an update about the cancelled Blanco ride, I tweeted about it too. Some of you saw it and knew of the cancellation, real fast. Then Letty got on the blog and posted wanting to ride in Hill Country Village later if it stopped raining. I sent the above update about the plan to ride HCV at 9:30 as a tweet.  People saw it in their twitter updates, on facebook and the blog. People showed up & we had a great ride.

There are many benefits and uses for Twitter.  And the popularity and applications are growing – fast. You can use it to update your network of friends & family. You can just stay updated, by following and not tweeting. Whatever your preference is.

We are going to be using it at Ride Like A Girl to see how it can be beneficial to the club and all of you. We’ve also just started 3 Twibes. 

What is a Twibe?  A Twibe is a group of Twitter users interested in a common topic.  I will post something about Twibes later.  If you want to know now – go here:  Twibes  Our tribes are : RideLikeAGirl, RidinWithTheGirls & TriLikeAGirl.

I invite you to join, and check it out. You can do that here:  Go to Twitter

I also want comments from all of you – how can we benefit from this communication tool? What do you think about it? What are your likes or concerns?

Post a comment here and let us know.

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