Nearly a year ago, I finally cornered someone at a conference at asked her to explain Twitter to me. I knew people liked it, but why? Her explanation, and seeing others use it at the conference, got me to try it...and I got hooked!
Twitter is described as a microblog, but what it really is -- at least to me -- is a gathering around the virtual coffee pot. When I worked in a corporate environment, useful information was often exchanged at the coffee pot. Critical discussion would often start with the words "want to get a cup of coffee?"
Working by myself means that there are no profound conversations around my coffee pot. However, now I have those conversations with many others during random moments in our days. We...
- Exchange tips and techniques
- Troubleshoot problems
- Offer support
- Pass around things that make us laugh
- Share joys and sorrows
- Offer professional advice
- Coordinate events
All without leaving our desks. We don't have to wander down the hall and wait for others to arrive. We only need to open up Twitter and a group is already there.
One thing that was important for me was to find the right Twitter tool. Using Twitter.com was okay, but I like TwitterFox better. You might want to check out this list of Twitter tools, if you like Twitter but don't like using it through the web site. Of course, you could just ask your Twitter buddies for suggestions of useful Twitter tools -- I bet they'd be glad to offer up some suggestions!
BTW if you are using Twitter and want to connect to other SLA members, leave a comment with your Twitter ID. Mine is jahurst.