Last year Rex Hammock mentioned in passing in an email that someday he’d “explain why so many people are using Twitter.com.”
At the time I took a quick look at Twitter and just shook my head. I have to admit — I did not see the appeal.
Six months later and things have changed. I’m now using Twitter. And the more I use it, the more value I find in it. It’s a bit addicting and I can see why Rex found it so appealing.
I’ve noticed a lot more businesspeople using Twitter in 2008. I wrote about this trend in my latest Inc Technology column:
Twitter is a kind of public instant messenger stream. You go online or on your mobile device and send text messages (“tweets”) of up to 140 characters — or about one sentence long. Your tweets can be read by others, and you can sign up to follow the messages others write so that you can read theirs.
Often the messages are incredibly mundane. “Just landed at San Francisco airport.” “Body can’t seem to adjust to the time change.” “Reading e-mails –147 in my inbox.”
Some messages are so trivial that at first you’ll be shaking your head. How could extremely intelligent people — the early adopters of technology — waste their time on such banalities, you wonder?
But stick around long enough on Twitter and you, too, will get sucked in.
Mixed in among the short updates from friends, colleagues, acquaintances, or people you’d like to get to know, you start to notice patterns. You start picking up small clues about their personalities, about their priorities, and about events in their lives. It’s a mosaic, a backdrop that helps you understand how they tick. You become more engaged in them and in their work precisely because you learn some details of their personal existence. You start to care more about them on a personal level. Thus, you care more about their work and become a more engaged member of their community.
Oh, and if you are using Twitter, I am smallbiztrends.
What’s your Twitter address? Leave it in the comments below.More in: Twitter