To what purpose do you put Twitter?

by Jonathon Narvey

The Guardian's Digital Content Blog asked a simple yet very interesting question: "What do you use Twitter for?" (Blogger's Note: Out of style snobbery regarding the ending of sentences in prepositions, you'll notice I've adapted the phrase more formally in the title of my own derivative blog post). Some of my favorite answers:

@Aaron78: It helps me hoan my wrighting skillz.

@DJ_Ringo: Networking with potential customers/clients.
@DJ_Ringo: And work avoidance.

@John_Muir: Why? Hive mind, buzzing in my ear.

@matthewgain: I use Twitter because I get quicker responses from people than using email.
@sjkennedy: I use Twitter to stay abreast of the really important topics in the tech blogosphere. Much more effective than RSS.

My own uses for Twitter have changed greatly since I first joined just a few months ago. At first I used it as a handy way to keep tabs on what was happening with friends and colleagues.

Within 72 hours, it had cut my work productivity down by at least 20 per cent. So I went cold turkey for a few days.

But I had to go back and try to figure out how to use it better. Using it as just another pretty passive online billboard for my digital persona followed. Then the spamming for fun and not very much profit started and stopped soon after.

How you use Twitter depends entirely on what you might need to use it for. It's a marketing tool. It's a device for keeping tabs on your friends and enemies. It's an opening to the hive mind. It's all of these, or none of them, depending on your particular situation.

What do you use Twitter for? That's a good question.

San Francisco, California, United States

Twitter is a privately funded startup with offices in the SoMA neighborhood of San Francisco, CA. Started as a side project in March of 2006, Twitter has grown into a real-time short messaging service that works over multiple networks and devices. In countries all around the world, people follow the sources most relevant to them and access information via Twitter as it happens—from breaking... more

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Jonathon Narvey

Jonathon Narvey

Jonathon Narvey is a Vancouver-based freelance journalist, website copywriter and author. He is the founder of WRITEIMAGE, a website copywriting services company. Jonathon grew up in Winnipeg, Canada. While he remains proud of his prairie roots, he moved to the west coast of Canada soon after beginning a career as a writer. Mostly, he writes about politics, current events and life in... more

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