I have really come to enjoy using a little web 2.0 tool named Twitter. I have even mentioned it in my Blog before (here, and here). I like it because it lets me connect with people, some of them don't even know. That seems odd, but aren't relationships sometimes about the enjoyment we get out of vicariously experiencing others lives?
I suppose some chose me to be in their Twitter group of people they follow because of where I live, what my job is, or maybe it is completely at random. It does not matter, because I really look forward to hearing what everyone else is doing. One guy who is following me works for the NFL and is at the Super Bowl today. His little bits of insight into that world are fascinating to me.
Sometimes the postings are lame- I don't care, almost all of my postings are lame! I still want to know what is going on with everyone. I think there is a connective power in sharing 140 characters at a time. Thankfully, I am not the only one who thinks like this or it would get boring very quickly. But there are limitations to Twitter- sometimes 140 characters is not all that I want to share.
I am excited to say that there are many tools out there that borrow from the Twitter idea (which was not the first tool of this type) and make a different communication tool, or use Twitter to add to their own tool set.
Jaiku is a similar to Twitter. You can post what you are doing or thinking, but you can also add in your other social RSS feeds such as Twitter, del.icio.us, Flickr, this blog or anything else that has a feed url you can copy and paste. I like this micro-blog but I must stay were my peeps are, and I can keep this one active without visiting it (I really only have one active friend there so I don't think she misses me).
Pownce is very Twitter like, but you can add in links, files and calendar events along with your message which can be longer that 140 characters. You can even import your friends from Twitter.
Plaxo Pulse is interesting because it allows you to have one place to access all of your social services (RSS feeds), email, and more. You can host photos, videos and snyc your calendar. There is a place for notes and tasks and more. It kind of does a little bit of everything. I am only playing with it now. Once I figure everything out it might just be a good starting point of my day...
Viygo is an interactive timeline that you can use to pull in your messages and your friends messages from Twitter. You can create your own timelines and pull in news to the timeline. A different way to see what is going on.
There is a new service called Seesmic which is like Twitter but with video messages. I haven't been able to play with it because I can't get an account set up (still waiting for an invitation code) but it sounds like a cool idea.
Yedda is a social service that revolves not around people, but questions and the answers that people have to the questions. When you sign up, it asks you what subjects you feel that you are an expert in, and then when questions are submitted that are a fit for you, you get a chance to help someone. I like the idea of helping others a lot, but hate the adds on the side. Nothing is perfect, and people do need to make money!
Tweetmeme looks for postings on Titter that link to outside content and then it compares the links it finds to sort out what are the post popular links. Like a Twitter popular links aggregator. Interesting...
Because Twitter uses an open API, things like Tweetmeme are possible. Some smart people have taken the API, and pulled political Tweets and compiled them at Politweets. Candidates are posting to Twitter and so are political reporters and bloggers who are following the primaries. If you are interested in politics- it keeps an up to the minute commentary about what is going on right now in the campaign. I don't think you can be any better informed of what is going on.
Twitter has become a different way of sharing information that is beginning to be taken pretty seriously a valuable tool by many people. But even though it is fun, you do need to know how to behave while using Twitter, or you risk annoying your friends. Of course, we can all be better Twitter users. It does bother me that some people over-think things about Twitter, but I am sure that Twitter is something that is a little different for everyone. It does not worry me any because Twitter will become what people decide that it should be, or they will just move on to the next free social tool...
My Twitter (and Twitter-like) Links -