Twitter – The Latest Craze in Micro-blogging

In today’s world of minuscule attention span, writing and reading long blog articles are sure to lose popularity. After all the “text messaging” generation does not want to spend hours reading long drawn blog essays. Hence “micro-blogging” is the rave of the day and undoubtedly, the king of micro blogging is “Twitter”. The world blog comes from “Web Logs”, which implies that blogs are essentially online logs of the blogger ramblings, sort of like a diary or online journal. Twitter does just that, it allows users to write snippets (140 characters or less) of any message that you want to share with your friends of the world, and they get logged onto your home page. But the story does not end here. If you have a bunch of friends who are interested in you, who want to know what you are up to, who would like to “follow you”, they can link up with your “Tweets” and receive an update whenever you post something through tweeter. Check out my tweeter page http://twitter.com/bhawmik to figure out what I am talking about. For example, if you’d like to follow me, just click the link “follow”. You will of course have to sign up with Twitter before you can follow somebody. People who are familiar with Orkut scrapping or Facebook wall writing or status update should get the idea, except on Twitter you are doing a one-to-many messaging, rather than one-on-one with global access.

Besides individuals, many corporations, news organizations, radio stations, all have twitter accounts and you can follow any one you like. Corporations use Twitter as a marketing tool. News organization use it to send out their latest breaking news snippets. Individuals use it to stay connected. The possibilities are endless.

You can send tweets or received tweets from your mobile phones. You can have desktop applications on your computer to receive and send tweets. And of course you can use the web site too. Once you get hooked on to it, it is hard to live without it.

Twitter offers an API to build smart interfaces and plugins to use in several applications. For example, WordPress bloggers can use a Twitter plugin to have their tweets posted on their blog page – check out the right hand side bar. You’ll notice a short column of my twitter messages. When I don’t have the time to write about a topic but feel the urgent need to share it with my readers, I use Twitter and the message gets posted on my blog. This allows me to post the latest happenings.

So give it a shot. Try out Twitter and jump on the latest band wagon.

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