Birds of same feather, tweet together!

Sachin Khosla

Do you tweet? Do you use twitter to converse with likeminded people? How can you use twitter for building your network? Is there a community around you on twitter? Read this informative post by Sachin Khosla which talks about Twitter.

What is twitter?

“One could change the world with one hundred and forty characters.” – Jack (Founding Member of Twitter)

Twitter is a micro-blogging platform, where in it allows users to interact with his/her followers within a character limit of 140.  All you need is to register on twitter and follow your friends who are already there or people who tweet about the topics you are interested in. And in the same way other users are going to follow you. So this creates a community of your own which has common interests and like thoughts.

How exactly twitter changed the communication medium?

Those were the times when we used to send SMS to groups and the SMS used to flow further in your friend circle and so on. But today a single tweet gets broadcasted to all your followers. This gives you the power to notify numerous people in one go. If your tweet is worth or liked by someone he/she retweets it and it gets broadcasted to their follower list.

Take this scenario; I am looking for an apartment in Mumbai for the period of 15 days as I have to attend a conference. Ideally one tends to search for accommodation through a property dealer or can check-in to a hotel. But then again you are not sure if you are getting the genuine rates. However if you have a community or friends on twitter who reside in Mumbai you can tweet about it and you get  your facts right then and there and if you are lucky enough then one of your friend might be able to accommodate you for a week or so. So that way you open more opportunities for yourself and the benefit is uncountable.

How a community can benefit from Twitter?

In my opinion twitter is one of the best things that have happened to Internet. Twitter changed the way we communicated among the community. Some of the benefits are:

  • Your community is no longer limited to a particular region or area.
  • You have instant expert advice from other community members and leaders.
  • People from various communities actually start taking part in your community work.
  • Any short announcements for the community spread faster through twitter rather than the conventional mailing groups.

People participate actively in the twitter conversations as compared to the mailing. Interacting with twitter is instant, brief and has wider coverage. It really helps decision making for the moderator of a community. There are certain decisions for which a moderator cannot wait for the community to reply via emails, as its time consuming. Instead a moderator can tweet about the question he has and definitely he is going to get response from his community members.

Why is communicating through Twitter so fast?

Twitter is free to use and is almost everywhere now. It is spreading rapidly among every age group. One of the strange things to notice here is that, twitter is common among age group from 23-40 and kids tweet less. So it is a mature community which you are dealing with here. It has mobile applications, desktop applications and is hooked with every blog or website today. My own tech blog gets 20% of its traffic from twitter as soon as I publish any new article. A self confession here would be that I’ve joined many new communities through twitter. I also got a chance to meet those people who are the actual force behind those communities.

Diversity of Twitter

Using twitter you can not only meet the people who are from your field of expertise, rather you interact with people from diverse fields. Your social circle grows irrespective to the nature of work you are doing. I know many people from research, finance and media through twitter and who earn their bread and butter by working across the globe.

Twitter as a news resource

For me at least news channels are the second communication medium to inform me about latest happenings around the world. I sit at office where I do not have access to television but at the end of the day I know a lot more than a person who sat back home and watched some local news channel all-day. We have journalists, reporters and cameramen who tweet. They tweet what they see or they are covering so enabling the people to spread the news much faster on twitter. You do not have to wait for to get back home from work and turn on the TV for latest news. Instead you know everything at the same time through twitter. Almost every channel is on twitter today and they tweet about latest news as soon as they get updates from their reporters.

Limitation of Twitter

It’s a well known fact that an invention that possesses some advantages has also some limitations or disadvantages associated with it. They are like the two sides of a coin. Given below are some of the limitations of twitter.

  • You do not have copyrights on the tweets you send. So they can be modified and reused in any form.
  • The announcements that you make on twitter are not authenticated. For important or critical announcements you still have to use Email groups.
  • As long as your updates are not protected, whatever tweet you send is read by the public. It may even be crawled by search engines and can appear in the search results. So those who are unaware of the fact may not like this.
  • Twitter is addictive and kills time. Sometimes I just do not feel like working and I think of relaxing on twitter, but it gets stretches so much that I end up wasting my whole night on twitter and my work progress becomes 000.

About Sachin Khosla: Sachin Khosla has been associated with web development since 4 years. He works as software engineer at OutworX solutions. Founder of Digimantra.com and a person who likes to participate actively in events & camps. He is known by the name of realin on the internet and promotes open source related technologies. He tweets as @realin.

One Reply to “Birds of same feather, tweet together!”

  1. Hey Sachin,

    Nice article and came here from Arun’s interview. To be honest, it would have been great if you could have given more insights into twitter. For example, which kind of applications are best? How do we gain more followers? Would love to know.

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