A Twitterer, you ask? What in the world is a Twitterer?
Simply put, a Twitterer is someone who tweets on Twitter.
I know what you are thinking right about now. You've tuned into AK Tech Girl to learn more about digital technology for your work and life, and suddenly I'm talking about tweeting and twittering. But trust me, Twitter is something you should know about.
Let me break it down for you.
Twitter (http://www.twitter.com) is an SMS microblog and social network.
SMS: Short Message Service or text message as in a message over a mobile device.
Microblog: Super short blog.
Social network: A site or service that provides tools to connect to (friend or follow) other people and to meet people through your connections.
A microblog is truly a short and snappy blog, the operative word being short. On Twitter, for example, your posts are limited to 140 characters or less. That is 140 characters - not words - and that translates to about 25-35 words. That's it. That's all you get per Twitter post or "tweet."
The reason why Twitter limits you to 140 characters or less is because it can be linked to your mobile phone or device so you can send - and receive - tweets wherever you go.
Some friendly advice: Don't set up the mobile portion of this service unless you are prepared with both an unlimited text messages and the patience for receiving lots and lots of messages.
On Twitter.com, you can register for free and set up your own Twitter page with an avatar or icon that represents you and will be published next to each of your Twitter posts. You can view my Twitter page to see what I mean at http://www.twitter.com/alizasherman.
Once logged into Twitter, you can start "following" people. Following is similar to "friending" or connecting with someone who you either know or would like to know. On Twitter, you "follow" someone to be able to view their posts or tweets on your main Twitter home page (which is different from your Twitter account page).
People can choose whether or not they want to follow you back or other people may happen upon your page, like what you are tweeting...saying...and follow you even if they don't know you.
What is the purpose of following on Twitter?
I follow people who I know to keep up with them day-to-day, particularly if they are located in other parts of the country and world.
And I also follow people in my industry (Internet) who I admire. By reading what they tweet, I become privy to what they are reading (yes, people tweet about articles and blog posts they are reading and include links to them); what they are thinking about (people tweet about their thoughts on industry, world and even life issues); and who they know (I can follow who they are following).
Why use Twitter?
None of us have enough time in the day, but here are a few ways I use Twitter to help me throughout my day:
1. It is my virtual watercooler. I work from home so Twitter is my opportunity to network with colleagues.
2. I can get fast answers to burning questions. Because I have over 800 people following me, I can get almost instantaneous answers to any of my questions, especially technical questions. I can literally hear back from people in less than a minute.
3. I can promote my online work. Every time I publish a new blog post or upload a new podcast, I can tweet about and people will click on the link I provide. Instant marketing!
For an example of how an Anchorage-based business is using Twitter, check out Bella Boutique's Twitter page (http://www.twitter.com/bella_boutique) and stop by AK Shop Girl's Twitter page (http://www.twitter.com/akshopgirl).
I'll blog a lot more about Twitter in the future because it is a part of many things I do online. But in the meanwhile, post any questions you might have in the comments section of this blog, and I'll get right back to you.