Advantages Its a useful communicating tool
Disadvantages None because it is what you make it
So for those of you not on Twitter and still don't know what it is, I applaud you but where have you been?. Twitter "is a real-time information network powered by people all around the world that lets you share and discover what's happening now" according to the company Twitter Inc. who own the brand. Twitter asks "what's happening" and makes the answer spread across the globe to millions, immediately" according to the people behind the actual application and it is based in San Francisco in the United States of America.Over time it seems Twitter, like Facebook, has evolved and got better given that you can now write messages in numerous languages such as French, German, Japanese, and Spanish to name a few and it has spread itself further around the world and is now available in almost every country in the world, which I find quite amazing.
So I joined back in April 2009 and set up my account and then didn't do anything after sorting all the settings out, adding my friends and changing my background because I didn't quite get the point of writing something in 140 characters when I could waffle on and on with Facebook and not have to type anything in text talk just to fit in, by the way I find text talk very annoying. So it lay dormant for a few months and every so often I would log in and have a read and then find a celebrity and follow them and after I got a reply back, or a 'Tweet' to give it the proper name, from a celebrity I started to log in more often, cursing myself for being sucked in but all the time thinking it might be alright after all.
It also allows you to keep in contact with friends, family members, work colleagues, celebrities and anyone else you wish to be informed about. Basically you decide what you want to know, who to follow and whether or not to reply, it can be as arduous task trying to keep up with everyone, an easy task because you set yourself a limit on who or what you will follow and it can be both boring and fun, whatever you want it to be.
Now on Twitter there are hundreds of celebrities you can follow, infact if you Google and ask it who is on Twitter you'll end up with a list longer than your arm and can quite easily attempt to follow them all, people such as Barack Obama, Nick Clegg, Stephen Fry, Rio Ferdinand and even our very own Ciao has an account on Twitter, infact you will be quite surprised about who you can find on Twitter that has an account, only if it is a celebrity they will have a little blue tick next to their name which means Twitter have verified them and ensured that they are not a fake account and are actually who they say they are. Or if the idea of following a celebrity doesn't appeal to you, then you can just choose to follow your friends and family who might also have a Twitter account and stick to just conversing with them.How you choose to use it is entirely up to you.
On the Twitter homepage (on the right hand side of the screen), there is a display which has a list called 'Trending Topics" and this displays a word or topic that has been used or spoken about most often by the members of Twitter, some of them have a hash tag in front of them, for example #Xfactor is X-Factor which for some obscure reason has got everyone talking right now and is a popular thing to Tweet about, so you can click on #Xfactor and read what everyone else around the world or in this case the UK is saying about Big Brother and in some cases you are able to reply to that person, even though you don't know them and join in the debate (assuming they don't have locked Tweets).It is often these obscure words and topics that often hit national media outlets and cause breaking news stories and one of the more famous ones was the campaign to get Rage Against the Machine to number one instead of the X-factor winner, okay so it started on Facebook and then gathered momentum but on Twitter people also talked about it and that's where I found out who won the number one spot for Christmas and more often than not that is now where I read Breaking News from sky, for example on my Twitter right now I've just read:
SkyNews A 6.1 magnitude undersea earthquake has been detected off eastern Taiwan. No immediate reports of casualtiesAnd if I click on the accompanying link I am taken direct to the Sky News homepage to read more on this article, which is up to me to decide whether or not I actually want to read more on this story or not and in most cases I don't unless I am really interested in what is being said. I have also been told that Lady Gaga is now the most followed person on Twitter having won the competition with Britney Spears with six million followers!
Also on your homepage which you will see as soon as you log in there is a big white box with the words "What's happening" written above it and it is in this white box that you have your 140 characters to write something, it can be absolutely anything you like and my last Tweet was "Is alive and kicking.." to which a few of my friends have replied with something they find witty or in one case very funny... some of my other friends are Tweeting about Big Brother to which I tend to leave a sarcastic response and one friend is currently telling the world about a madman on the bus sitting next to her chanting loudly that he hates everyone and everything.There is also the opportunity to Re-Tweet a message to everyone who follows you and what this means is that should something really interest you, you can inform everyone who follows you about it by simply clicking 'Re-Tweet' which will be found underneath the Tweet and then you will be asked if you want to Re-Tweet to all of your followers and you simply click 'Yes' and hey presto it is Re-Tweeted for you.
For me there are four main aspects to Twitter and they are:--->One: Following people - this means what it says you add people to your friends lists, like you do here on Ciao and read what they write and reply to them if you think you have anything worth saying (like with Ciao you comment if you have something to say)
--->Two: Tweeting - Using the 'What's happening' section to update your status, no matter how random you might think it is and trust me some of them are very random!--->Three: Replying to Tweets which is important because if someone messages you then you need to reply to them and underneath a Tweet is 'reply' and you type your reply in the What's happening box where it will say @Skynews and then you type your reply. Likewise if you want to reply to anyone there should always be the @ sign and that persons Twitter name before you can reply to their message or mention them in your Tweet.
--->Four: Direct messages, this is where people message you privately and again it is important to reply to those as well.
Do I enjoy Twitter, well like everything else I have learnt to love it and it now forms part of the way I communicate with a lot of people, mostly for fun I have to admit and because I use UberTwitter on my Blackberry it allows me to communicate on the go and reply as and when I want to, but at the same time doesn't make me feel like I am missing out on something. So if I am sat on the bus home, I can log into UberTwitter and I can Tweet at my peril.
In my year and a bit on Twitter I have done over 9000 Tweets (even though some have disappeared due to a Twitter issue), I follow 305 people from all different aspects of my life from people I work with, went to school with, penpal with, politicians, authors, journalists, celebrities and even Dooyoo and Ciao friends are on my list and I am followed back by 162 of them (although the Ciao team aren't following me, stamps foot) but if any of my other Ciao friends want to follow me then you can find me on there as Racheythewifey.
More and more these days companies are using Twitter as an information tool. For example Viva La Dvia which is a shoe company are regularly tweeting about their competitions to win shoes or giving information about their sales and first time buyer offers and they are not the only ones, you'll find very well known brands such as GHD and vodafone also have Twitter accounts and they too have dedicated members of staff tweeting out their messages to the would be consumers on Twitter.For some people Twitter is like marmite, they either love it or they hate it, all I can suggest is that if you haven't tried Twitter than try giving it a go especially if you go on Facebook a lot because it makes a nice change and you can update both status' at once if you are an avid Facebook status updater (which I am not) and you never know you might even get to chat with a famous celebrity or find out some really good gossip to share with the rest of on Ciao.
In my time on Twitter I have had arguements with Lord Sugar and Jon Gaunt, chatted with Rio Ferdinand, Jill Mansell, Judy Blume, Paul Merson, Robbie Savage and a few politicians that I know personally. Its a bit of fun and it is a great way to communicate with people.
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