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So What is Twitter Anyway?

     
8:15 am on May 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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Read an editorial by a "social media entrepreneur" named, Sarah Granger, [sfgate.com] who defined Twitter in this manner:

Twitter has become the backbone of the world's online media infrastructure...

[Twitter] has now become a symbol of global freedom and citizen engagement...

Twitter has become a household name, a destination, a verb, and a symbol of hope.


Frankly I was surprised to read that Twitter was now a symbol of global freedom and all that. It got me thinking. What else is Twitter?

Here's a partial list, off the top of my head

  • A recommendation engine.
  • A tool for communicating with customers.
  • A supplement to press release activity
  • A replacement for email
  • A recipe book
    http://twitter.com/#!/search/vegan%20curry%20recipe
  • A tool for identifying the optimal time to burglarize a tweeter? :o
    http://twitter.com/#!/search/%22I'm%20on%20vacation%22

Apart from being a "symbol of hope" and the "backbone of the world's online media infrastructure," what else can you add to the list of what Twitter is?
8:33 am on May 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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A PITA.
8:45 am on May 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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A non-profit organisation?

...
8:48 am on May 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Flagellation.
Self, of course...
9:11 am on May 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Mental masturbation? There might be a teaspoon of output in the end, but following after wild imagination and a ton of jerking to get some pull...
9:17 am on May 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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> burglarize ?

> burglarize ?

What sort of a word is that?

We use "burgle" over here. :)
10:37 am on May 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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You're just waiting for someone to post the analogous back-formation from "twitter" aren't you...
11:05 am on May 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Another channel to put content in front of readers (Google, Facebook, etc. are the other ones).
4:08 pm on May 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Another channel to put content in front of readers...


That's a good one. Especially for those who are passive about getting links.
4:49 am on May 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Technically Advanced way of wasting time thinking that you are doing something and lots of people are hearing.
10:32 am on May 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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A gathering place for people with two mouths and one ear
2:40 am on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Wow, tough crowd! Is this the Foo forum?

That aside the non-profit org that I do a few seasonal websites for has 6 in person events on those seasons. They use Twitter to alert followers to attendance filling up. Prevents a car full of anxious kids from driving 5-30 miles to an 'all full' event.

A second use that same non-profit group is to alert people to their general (open to the public) membership meetings. Many more followers than signed up members.

Many people I know have Twitter apps on their smartphones to interact with the niches they are interested in. My wife likes to 'reach out and touch' celebrities with thoughtful response Tweets and occasionally gets a Tweet back too.
6:07 pm on May 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Relationship building medium and with the right relationships comes EVERYTHING !
7:17 pm on May 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Great thread. Another partial list, to add to or shade the above....
  • A broadcast engine.
  • A megaphone.
  • A bulletin board.
  • A tool for organizing groups in near real time.
  • A tool for monitoring public and customer sentiment.
  • A channel for leveraging public and customer sentiment.
  • A viral marketing catalyst.
  • A potluck conversation.
  • One more thing.
  • Many more things.
  • Too many more things.
  • A treadmill.