Twitter

6 weeks ago I did not even know how to spell Twitter and today Twitter has taken over my life. OK, I admit I knew how twitter_logo (1) to spell Twitter and I had a general idea about what it is, but never realized its full potential until recently.
Even when I started out with Twitter and I did not have really any followers, for the first couple of weeks I was almost becoming a Quitter. Btw – Followers are the people that watch every thought that manifests itself in the mind of a person they follow or watch, in Tweets or Twitter messages.

Somehow, something in my mind convinced me that there must be more to it than what I experienced at first, which basically were people just posting, or “Tweeting” as it is called in the Twitter world, a bunch of nonsense. At least what I considered nonsense. Why would I want to know that you are on your way to a local coffee shop to get a Coffee Latte. Why do I care that you just turned in 7 books. Btw – where did you turn these 7 books into? Or another person telling everybody he hates to wake up and throws a question out there how other people wake up. I even wonder whether he ever received a response on his quest for knowledge about the science of waking up.
The whole thing at first did not make sense to me. Also the standard Twitter web interface did not make things a lot easier, especially when watching the public time line.
There must be more to it, I thought. Millions of people can be that off. I started to google Twitter to see what else there was to it and I came across a tool/website called Twittervision and if you would like to learn more about what Twittervision is all about visit the Blog of a John Wilson in the UK.

Twittervision, with its random pop-up of tweets from the public time-line and seeing what people or Tweeples all across the globe had to say was mesmerising. OK, most of the stuff that came up was still just random blabber but I saw also some very valuable tweets popping up. The disadvantage was that these tweets popped up and disappeared so fast that most of the time I could not read the whole content or even memorize some of it.

There had to be a better away to get access to some valuable Tweets. Now, in order to see tweets in your own time line one must follow another person, which can be done by just clicking on their name in the tweets and then select “Follow”.  All Tweet Names start with the ‘@’ sign and then a name or nickname (e.g. mine is @oliverschmid).

Still the Twitter Website with your own timeline was OK for the start but eventually did not prove not to be the best when you follow a bunch of Tweeters, especially if they tweet a lot. One Tweeple suggest to me various stand-alone applications to follow monitor your followers in more real time and in an easier way. The one application that has been sofar my favorite is TweetDeck.

First I spend an hour here and there on Twitter, but eventually and without consciously realizing it I spent hours and hours on Twitter, following Tweeples or as I call them Twittizen (from citizen). I started to follow people that had more my interests and share information that are valuable to me and unfollowed people that just did not provide any valuable input (at least not valuable for me) at all. I learned that there were Twitter Bots out there that send out scheduled tweets with the same content over and over again and I unfollowed these Bots next.

Now having been on Twitter for about 6 weeks it seems I am almost addicted to it. Everytime TweetDeck announces with its tweeting sound that there is a tweet from one of the people I follow I drop everything just to see what this person had to tweet about.  Twitter has taking over my life and it is exciting and scary at the same time.

Last night, or better this morning, it was after 1 am and I was tweeing most of the day and all evening already, @BommerRadioFM was talking about how addictive Tweeting had become to him, while another Twittizen in Germanycartoon_addiction announce that somebody in Munich had the swine flu. And I thought to myself at that moment that Twitter is like a virus. Once it hits you, you get the Twitter Flu. Of course no the advantages of Twitter came to light. I could spread that thought to 9 Million Twittizens across the world and@BommerRadioFM came up right away with a way how to diagnose the Twitter Flu and its associated symptons (btw the Twitter Flu is not fatal … at least not yet). These symptons are no sleep, zombie like appearance, drooling, etc. and it is expected to infect nearly 20 Million people by the end of June 2009.

But lets get serious again. Twitter has a great potential as marketing tool for many organizations. It’s potential of reaching the world with news and marketing campaigns in a never seen speed, even faster than  TV and Radio, at NO COST (Yes Twitter is free and I hope we can keep it this way) is outrageous. I believe we have not seen the best of it yet and once the Twitter hype, that attracts every high school kid with its IPhone, is over its real potential will come to light. I think I read somewhere that this hype is already coming to an end and that more more mature people are joining Twitter than kids. Kids like to spread the word about what they are doing at any given second of their life but they also need the immediate feedback and gratification of their actions and that is not something they necessarily get at Twitter, since Twitter does not lend itself to address a single person very easily. These kids will stay with SMS and chat rooms that  attract a smaller but more targeted audience.

At this time I would like to mention a few fellow Twittizens that really helped me to make my Twitter experience a positive one by providing valuable help and Tweets with great content. I recommend to follow the following Twittizens and tweeting groups:

@Jason_Pollock / @mashable /@ryanfellman /@WSB_TV / @BoomerRadioFM / @Buchautor / @cesarmillan (yes the dog whisperer is also on Twitter) / @DeAnnLR (with her great music blips from blip.fm) / @FreedomCoach / @Jack (one of the founders of Twitter) and many many more … just to may to list all here.

I will keep this post updated with my thoughts and my daily experiences on Twitter, but I would like everybody to chime in and to comment on their experiences with Twitter and what tweeting means to them and has done for them, good or bad – positiv or negativ. And please let’s keep it real.

@Oliver

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