Archive for Friday, January 2, 2009

Internet users all atwitter in ’08

Micro-blogging tool among newest fads of Web last year

January 2, 2009


Get tweeting!

A quick guide to using Twitter. Enlarge video

Popular places to check out on twitter

Local media/government

City of Lawrence (lawrenceks)

Journal-World (LJWorld) (KUSports) (lcom)

University Daily Kansan (TheKansan_News)

Follow the Jayhawks



Big 12 Spotlight (Big12_Spotlight)


Barack Obama (BarackObama)

Joe Biden (JoeBiden)

Shaquille O’Neal (THE_REAL_SHAQ)

Lance Armstrong (LanceArmstrong)

MC Hammer (MCHammer)

Al Gore (AlGore)

Steve Jobs, CEO, Apple (SteveJobs)

Are you an RSS fiend? Addicted to Google? Do your friends and family want to hold an intervention to wean you off the Web?

You might be part of the Twitterati, a population held hostage by its keyboard.

As Web-based applications continue to pop up, people are finding more ways than ever to learn, share and communicate.

Perhaps 2008’s biggest upstart was Twitter, a micro-blogging tool that asks, “What are you doing right now?”

Its closest kin is the Facebook status update, and it doesn’t allow verbosity: your tweets, as they’re known, can’t exceed 140 characters.

“When I first heard about Twitter, I couldn’t possibly come up with a use for it,” said David Perlmutter, professor of journalism at Kansas University and author of the book “Blog Wars.” “I thought, ‘Why would I want to alert everybody that I’m having a tuna sandwich?’ It seemed like something you didn’t need technology to do.”

But Perlmutter is amazed at how Twitter has become what he calls “this phenomenon of utility.”

“So much of our life now these days is fast-moving, fleeting, and that describes Twitter,” Perlmutter said.

Twitter has spawned cutesy language touting it as a “twool,” using it to communicate with your “twosse” (Twitter posse) in the Twitterverse. It is changing the way many Lawrence residents get and share information.

Phil Martinez, 33, says Twitter keeps him updated on local happenings in Lawrence.

“I use it to get feedback on ideas, learn and give info on Lawrence events, find out when (Free State Brewing) is out of beer, and meet people with same (interests),” the mechanical engineer tweeted.

Local blogger Jenn Hethcoat, 34, networked with moms across the country to start a New Year’s resolution blog promoting healthy living through the Wii Fit video game.

KU student Megan Do says she reaches out to professionals in the public relations and advertising fields, building a network that she can use when she graduates.

Jacinta Langford, co-owner of online marketing firm LangfordSevier, says Twitter is valuable in networking and discussing industry news.

She says she isn’t “necessarily trying to pitch (new business), but focusing on building relationships and possibly referrals. A lot of companies can benefit from social media apps like Twitter. … It’s beneficial for interaction with customers as a (customer service) tool.”

Many find it helpful in discovering links to news stories. The Journal-World, and all have a Twitter presence (twesence?), as do hundreds of other news organizations. But links are more often than not shared between Twitter users, exponentially expanding the reach of widely read and niche stories alike.

Twitter stresses the immediate and sharable nature of news today, Perlmutter said.

“It’s like our own ticker tape or news service, where we can update everyone we know … in these little bursts of information,” he said.

Updates about the attacks in Mumbai were available almost as they happened. The Indian government even asked people to stop sending updates so as not to compromise its operations. The scandal involving Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich unfolded on Twitter, and the coverage of the presidential election came nonstop in 140-character bytes.

The adage “journalism is the first draft of history” has changed, Perlmutter said. Now, thanks to tools like Twitter, “people are the first draft of journalism.”


KU_cynic 8 years, 11 months ago

Just as I say "no thanks" to so many other seemingly popular but vacuous social behaviors -- from casino gambling to reality TV shows to video gaming -- I also say "no thanks" to twittering. It would seem to be a waste of my humanity.

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