Twitter – 6 little things on why twitter is great

6 little things on why I <3 twitter and why you should be a part of it


Twitter is where it’s at! Geeksville has flocked

Twitter is an absolute phenomenon, it’s redefining and shaping so many things, you only have to look at its growth in trend tools like google insights or Google trends to get an idea of  its ever accelerating popularity.

UK search volume index

twitgrowth

UK Twitter use 2008

uniques-twitter-daily

It already has close to 20 million pages within the Google search results and is growing daily.

Site: command showing number of pages indexed in Google.com

twitter-google

Estimates of Twitter users fluctuate wildly. In April 2008 Techcrunch estimated their numbers at 1 million + today, it’s considerably higher.  I attempted to find out in Google but drew a blank and the Twitter blog wasn’t much help either, so I tweeted and asked for help,  guess what…

@robwatts Does 4,520,000 sound about right? http: //tinyurl.com/8kfczv
Michael isn’t spot on and a refinement of his query got me nearer to 4 million (4,040,000).  If  Google’s estimation is correct, then those are some pretty healthy take up numbers.
And then came James, he told me that twittercounter.com reports to be tracking 2.5 million accounts.
@robwatts Twittercounter claims to be tracking around 2.5 mi llion accounts

Whatever way you cut it, 1 million 2.5 million, 4 million are all pretty big numbers with a huge potential to tip.

Celebs like Jonathan WRoss (@wossy) are also seeing the value and are  threatening to take it mainstream by ‘outing’ it upon his return to the BBC on the 23rd of January.

Ross referencing @stephenfry on the 7th Jan 2008

fry-twitter-ross

Technorati shows that Twitter mentions in blog posts are also on the rise. The chart below shows a direct comparison between Digg (a popular geek web site) and twitter.

technorati

At the time of writing this post, in the last week alone Twitter had received mentions in no less than 240 citations on the bbc.co.uk website,  185 in the telegraph.co.uk site, 430 in the guardian.co.uk, and 135 in the dailymail.co.uk.

Newspapers it seems are almost running scared, at least those journalists who fail to understand it are, preferring to lambast and deride rather than see it for the revolutionary way of communicating that it is.

Twitter is great for brand engagement and management

The buzz generated across the social spectrum by twitter hasn’t gone unnoticed by savvy companies either. Twitter offers up an excellent opportunity for companies to connect directly with their consumers and stakeholders. Twitter has an excellent search feature (formerly summize.com) which means you can search for brand mentions and either put out any fires before they start or build a relationship with the customer or person discussing your product.

Twitter is an excellent means of using site authority too. Got a brand management problem? Get on twitter, register your brand and leverage twitters buzz to help push any negative news downwards.

A look at search for the well known search marketer Danny Sullivan shows the twitter authority factor in action.

dannysullivan


Twitter gives access to networks

Need to find people interested in your niche? No problem, simply search for a related word in twitter search and find hundreds of people tweeting on your topic. A search for SEO as an example shows a list of people who have mentioned SEO in their tweets.  With a little legwork and an examination of their followers and who it is they follow you can quickly find people with related interests. Whilst this isn’t a perfect model, it will for specific niche terms give you insight and access to people you might otherwise have had to have spent hours researching.

seo-twitter


Twitter is a great social tool

Twitter is one of those communication tools that can be a fantastic asset in terms of building connections and enhancing relationships with those you already have.  Be it with friends, colleagues, prospects or clients twitter offers you the opportunity to connect and share in ways that previously were simply not possible. You can plug your twitter stream into other social  accounts,  facebook and friendfeed. You can plug it in to your blog and simultaneously update your blog on the fly as you tweet. You can share pictures with friends, connect via text directly to a users twitter message account. It’s a two way process too.  Most non UK twitter users can connect for free via text message in a two way interchange meaning that friends (people you’ve added) can send message to your phone via the twitter DM system.

But for me, the real power in twitter is in the opportunities it gives us all to connect to a wider range of people in a broader geographical space in a multitude of social and business environments. You can use twitter in ways that best suits you and you alone. Want to spam your network and followers? Boom, the choice is yours? Prefer to nurture and grow your network then boom, your choice again. Through being social and engaging with like minded people, you really can forge useful meaningful relationships, be they business or social.

flagging

Twitter is a great promotional tool

The final reason for the purposes of this post at least, is that Twitter is a great way of pushing a message out – It enables for direct access to the twitter streams of your followers, putting your message directly before them.

How you choose to construct your message and the relative success of your message depends on many factors of course.  None of us want to do things for selfish or unhelpful people, it’s not a take take take phenomenon.  Like many other social media platforms out there your success or failure to promote what it is you do, or who you are, or a service or message  that you think people might benefit from is, at the end of the piece, dependent upon your  ability to communicate and connect to others.

Be they power users with big networks and influence, or general users with smaller more tightly focused followings your message simply won’t fly if you don’t have presence and connectivity.

Twitter is a revolution

I make no bones about it. To me, twitter is amazing. It’s like web 3 offering up endless possibilities to break strangleholds and reshape the communications and search mould.

It’s invigorated the whole tech space and has generated excitement and buzz across the spectrum. Iphone apps like tweetie, twitterfon, twitterific, twinkle all enable for constant interaction be you walking or sitting on a bus or train. if you have a bit of 3g then you can continue building and sharing or just plain having fun with it all.

Don’t get me wrong not everyone ‘gets it’ some look at it and think WTF? Like a colleague remarked the other day on my status update around sticking a chicken in the oven to feed the kids, it was hard for him to understand where the value in that lay. Heck in lots of ways he’s right too, a bit like my drunken tweets repleat with pictures and my various trials and tribulations, but yet for many this is the whole attraction of twitter. Twitter enables for access to all manner of whatever it is we choose to share – its a part of the human condition to want to know, explore, laugh and cry. maybe in todays busy busy time starved world, tools like twitter allow us to use these pauses within our lives to say something random, to put it out there, to micro blog, to micro interact even.

I can’t recall the last time I personally got so zealous and bought in to a product that is, by and large a glorified bulletin board wih pictures.

I’m reminded of a discussion with @davefreeman the other day on the walk to Sainsburys to pick up some lunch, we talked about times of old the MSN Chatrooms whereby everyone there was randomly talking to people they knew nothing about screaming “ASL”  or some other less charitable form of ape cry. The history is that MSN on the back of public concerns around children and paedophilles generated by tabloids hungry for headlines on the advice of legal counsel pouring tales of grief and woe, elected to shut them down. I’m not saying that twitter is in any way a replacement; it isn’t thats clear. But if we take the enagement that msn chatrooms had and broaden the reason out a little, then we can safely draw a conclusion that people like to connect and communicate. Twitter ramps that up a little and connects the offline worlld with the on. That’s powerful.

Like this post? Follow me on twitter I’m @robwatts.

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23 thoughts on “Twitter – 6 little things on why twitter is great

  1. bravegirl

    Excellent post, Rob. Twitter is without a doubt changing how and where we get our information. I can see resources like web recruiting (a la monster.com) eventually going by the wayside as people connect within the different “veins” or “niches” as they develop.

    Mostly I’m very interested to see how Twitter evolves as it becomes better known in the “non-tech” world. I sometimes feel that as it exists, it is a bit exclusivist. And that’s only natural as people interested in technology are the first to adopt new technologies.

    I’m excited to be a part of the evolution. And that’s the real point – Twitter is very Darwinian in the sense that what it eventually becomes may be very different from what it was originally intended to be. It has taken on a life of its own and I think that will present some challenges regarding how we filter and organize our Twitter contacts.

    PS – had been told that there were over 6 million people registered on twitter so helpful to hear you’ve done some research on that. Would be great to get a definitive number as of January 1, 2009.

  2. robwatts Post author

    Hi Bravegirl – I agree – these are very interesting times, I’m loving the whole ebb and flow of it all too! Thanks for stopping on by! :)

  3. rishil

    I love twitter. One thing I keep telling friends is, use it to business network – forget linkedin – the number of job prospects since I joined twitter has gone up drastically!.

  4. Internet Age

    It’s amazing how the world wide wide is growing and booming in revenue possbilities during a time the physical world is sinking economically. The www is like a whole different world hardly influenced by the real world.

    Twitter is rapidly claiming it’s throne as the ultimate social network.

  5. robwatts Post author

    @rishil hear that m8 – most of my offline friends still look at me a little glazey eyed when I talk about this stuff, they just don’t get it – I think they will though eventually.

    @internet age – it’s one of the greatest things if you ask me, never sits still, constantly shifting – I assume you mean that online at least it appears that the web is constantly growing reshaping, evolving and in that sense (unlike the high st) is a very different animal. Maybe we are seeing some form of reconfiguration asto what the high street means in peoples lives. Records, dvds etc go to a shop for those? Oh no, do it online it’s easier. How far is that idea removed from most of our other retail realities? Oops small diversion ;)

  6. Bloggeries

    I am noticing twitter pages showing in top of SERP’s for many many results. I like how you incorporated the images to better illustrate your points. Just shared this on Twitter.

  7. shelina

    Love to see the faces rather than just words all on one page rather than scrolling page to page on sites like myspace. Social media or marketing is a different way of thinking from the past but we are excited since we have an international market. We are having fun but working hard with two twitaccounts @gregory_shelina for galaxy first human creation, angelic symbols and high dimension teachings and another twit account with live channeled messages @jesusandmary from the true soul aspects of Jesus and Mary who are in our soul group sharing about their marriage, spiritual inspiration and The Jesus Opal. We are very grateful to people like you that share these twitter tips with us. Thank you!

  8. Pingback: Daily Links | AndySowards.com :: Professional Web Design, Development, Programming, Hacks, Downloads, Math and being a Web 2.0 Hipster?

  9. Triple Ox

    Twitter is a superb networking tool. It will come to the point where it needs to make money though. It can’t be long until ads start appearing. Using apps like TweetDeck will avoid that though ;)

  10. Sarah

    I avoided Twitter for awhile, but I finally broke down because one of my favorite famous people was tweeting more often than she updated her blog. I thought I was a latecomer, but it’s really exploded (and gotten mainstream attention) since I joined. I keep my tweets mundane, but my husband does use it for networking.

  11. SEO Canada

    It is great for networking and the evolution of Twitter search will be something interesting to watch over the next year. Perhaps this is the intersection of search and social that we’ve been waiting for.

  12. alexaldon

    Twitter graph was too high as it suggests highly popular today. So we need to take care of the twitter updates and join more and more people to follow.

  13. Sid

    A really great read , i up until now was not using twitter but after taking a couple minutes to read here , i am now going to be on twitter later today and give it a test run. seems like a great new tool. thanks

  14. Rob

    When people told me about Twitter I thought, what’s the point, that’s covered by facebook status, (how wrong?!). It’s very very addictive, useful and for something that seems so simple actually has endless possibilities.

    I think it’s best as B2B, asking questions, getting insights etc. One thing I noticed is that because you tend to pick up followers from all over the world, it becomes a 24/7 thing keeping up with it, could be a problem for the workaholics.
    I use Tweetdeck and found it enhanced my enjoyment of Twitter.

  15. Blake Ipsen

    At first I was “anti-twitter” i didnt get what the big deal was to be in instant contact with people and care about their minute by minute updates. Then I had to create an account for a marketing tool @ work, and slowly got addicted.. now i CANT STOP TWEETING!

    Its so addictive and such a trend. It is the new stream of social networks. Myspace to Facebook to Twitter…interesting.

  16. Webmaster Forum

    Keep up the great webmaster related blog posts. Awesome site *bookmarks*. :)

    I wish I could get traffic from twitter, but I guess it all comes down to niche.

    Keep it up

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