Twitter is the latest in-thing. YouTube, Facebook, blogging and the like have already been on the tips of everyone’s tongues whether they use it or not. This is exactly where Twitter is right now. The user base is growing at an incredible rate and the usefulness of the service is growing as a result. There’s just one problem – lots of people still don’t understand Twitter.
Not one of my real-life friends is using Twitter right now, and very few of them have ever mentioned it to me so they may not even know of its existence. This is in stark contrast to Facebook, which is used by the vast majority of my acquaintances, family, and RL friends.
So it’s easy to see that Twitter hasn’t yet reached the mainstream, despite having been around for a couple of years now. The main reason seems to be that non-users, those who haven’t yet taken the plunge, don’t fully understand Twitter.
I’ve read numerous comments from people on articles related to Twitter stating they don’t understand what it is, what it does, or how to use it. And I don’t understand why this is the case. In it’s most basic form, Twitter is one of the simplest Web apps I have ever used.
Anyone who is putting off trying Twitter out should just take the plunge. Create an account, send your first tweet – a message of 140 characters or less, and then let nature take its course. And I guarantee it will do.
Twitter can be used in a variety of different ways. At its most basic level, it allows you to keep people updated as to what you’ve been up to. Social networking etiquette will tell you to avoid telling your followers (people who choose to keep track of what you’re saying) about your toilet habits. But rules are there to be broken. The main thing is to start conversations and add something to the ones that are already taking place.
The service has evolved over time to become more than it was intended. Twitter can now be used as a news source, by following your favorite Web sites. Celebrities are also rife on Twitter, so if you love gossip and up-to-the-minute news direct from the mouths of the famous, Twitter can replace your weekly magazines.
The point is, nothing about Twitter is complicated or hard to understand. Some of the language that has evolved can be strange to new users but it quickly becomes second nature. By watching how others act, what they say, and the methods they use to communicate, Twitter can be easy as pie.
As with every new innovation, trying it out for yourself is the only way to truly discover what it can do for you. So if you’re still not sure, here’s where you sign up. And feel free to follow me if you’d like to hear inane ramblings at all times of the day and night.