Thursday, March 4, 2010


OK, I have a confession: the more I use Twitter, the more I like it.

Originally I thought it was just a toy, a passing fad. I signed up, and got this steady stream of tweets (twits?) that really didn't mean too much to me.

Then I discovered a couple of things: first, you need to be ruthless about "unfollowing" people who just throw tweets out for no particular reason (I mean, why do I care about how your coffee tastes this morning?).

Following tweeters that offer interesting articles (through the links they attach to their messages) seems to work well for me.

And, second, I now do most of my Twitter viewing through a site named "TweetDeck". TweetDeck takes all of your incoming tweets, and rearranges them into neat columns that are much more manageable.

In addition, TweetDeck makes tweeting and retweeting much more easy (in my opinion) than going directly to the Twitter website.

I am now finding that I get a steady stream of interesting posts throughout the day, with very little searching on the web. Not bad!

And I have started to send out a few tweets on my own (be forewarned!).

Here's a good article from yesterday's New York Times about Twitter (I have edited the story slightly; the full link can be found below):

Getting the Most Out of Twitter

Published: March 3, 2010

A COMMON reason given by those who have yet to try Twitter: “I have nothing to say.”

Janessa Goldbeck, who works in Washington for an anti-genocide group, checks a few Twitter Lists of people who work in human rights. “It’s the quickest, most personalized news filter you could imagine,” she said.

The truth is, you don’t have to post a message to get the most out of Twitter.

At its best, the social medium is a perpetual, personalized news service about topics of your choosing — whether health care reform, tech news or the latest episode of “Gossip Girl” — filtered and served to you by people who care a lot about what you care a lot about.

Even the most prolific users say Twitter has become more useful as a way to tap in to the discussions of the day than to broadcast their own thoughts. And once you get pulled in, you might just find you have something to say after all.

Biz Stone, Twitter’s co-founder, suggests that naysayers simply log on to Twitter’s home page and search for a topic they are interested in, whether it’s their favorite sports team, the name of their company or a topic in the news.

Within a minute, they understand the appeal, he said.

Twitter users write 50 million messages a day. For the holdouts, here are a few ways to make Twitter work for you.