Only 1% of Canadians may be using it, but that's 300 000 hardcore and connected citizens that are obsessively involved inconversations about information on a daily basis.
Twitter isjust a website, a place to host the information, but the website hasn'treally harnessed the power of Twitter, that's come after with therelease of various desktop, browser and iPhone applications that cankeep you dialled in to the world wide talk show long after you'veclosed up Firefox.
Tweetie, Twitteriffic, NatsuLion, TwitterFon, Twhirl, and Tweet Deck all have a place on my various computers, eachone a portal to the Twittersphere.
If you've been curious about Twitter because of Oprah or Ashton Kutcher's involvement, or because ofthe headlines grabbed by Twitterers in Iran fighting for fair elections, but haven't quite figured it out, you've probably just beento the website. To properly harness the power of the medium and getdialled in to the many messages you can hear, you need to pick theright interface. The website is just one way to access the stream, anda pretty static one at that.
When I'm at home, or on my MacBook, I use Tweet Deck.
On my iPhone, I've been using TwitterFon. Before that Twitteriffic. I've also dabbled in NatsuLion on iPhone and Tweetie on my MacBook. But really it's all about Tweet Deck on traditional computers and TwitterFon when I'm mobile.
That changed when Tweet Deck unleashed a powerful iPhone application that has everyone salivating.
The importance of using applications over the web page is that it allowsfor constant, automatic refreshing. The conversation gets pushed toyou. This way you can have Twitter running in the background, whileyou multi task away at something else. When something relevant happenson Twitter, you can see it through the update windows on your screen,as its happening.
The other confusion associated with Twitter isthe sheer volume of conversations it can provide. It can truly beconfusing to follow many people at the same time as differentconversations are ongoing. With Tweet Deck, you can sort the peopleyou follow into various groups. For instance @johncmayer,@ryanseacrest and @perezhilton could go in your "Hollywood" group,while @lancearmstrong, @The_Real_Shaq go in your "Sports" group. Youcan then put @mom and @dad into a friends and family group. You couldfurther by sorting the people you follow into news, media, colleaguesetc etc. The ability to sort and funnel the twitter conversations intorelevant boxes, breaks down the conversation into digestible chunks.
TweetDeck does this brilliantly. With the release of the iPhone app, they'vebrought this group sorting to the phone along with an ability to syncyour group settings between the iPhone and the desktop. Set up yourpreferences on either format and they'll be identical in both.
Twitter is a fabulous way for 1% of Canadians to communicate, interact, informand share. If the other 99% had a better way to use Twitter, they might want to jump in and join the party as well.
Pick an applicationand load it on to your smart phone. Get another one for your desktop, or try a browser plugin. Experiment with different ways to sort, process and participate in the conversation.
In the end, you'll discover it's much more than just "I went to the bathroom," and "Hey look, a shiny penny! FTW!" being tweeted throughout the day.
catch the buzz ... pass it on.
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