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Tweeting happily away
Member Name: melinda3536
Date: 23/11/09, updated on 03/11/13 (46 review reads)
Advantages: lots of interesting people to follow, profile easily set to private if needed
Disadvantages: can be prone to spammers
I know a lot of people who can't understand the point of social networking sites at all, let alone one which only allows you 140 characters to answer the question "What's Happening?", and also allows you to follow countless other people and read their 140 character contributions. Well, I've been tweeting (the act of posting your answer) and following for several months now, and am thoroughly enjoying it.
I think the critical thing is WHO you follow - I already had a number of online friends who have Twitter accounts, so there was an instant initial 'follow' list. Over time I have found a number of bands to follow, of course Stephen Fry, and various charities, environmental groups, No10 Downing Street, all sorts - all of whom post interesting 'news bites'. I have taken part in and won a Twitter competition, which gave us a family day out at the Leicester Space Centre.
With the amount of people now using the service, there have been an increasing amount of awareness campaigns, which if posted by enough people make the 'Trending Topics' list, and will get investigated by more users due to its popularity. Reassuringly to me, the majority of the people I follow don't go on about the likes of the X-Factor, but thousands do and it's possible to follow these comments in real time. It is possible to chat in a way, albeit slowly, as you can post comments or replies to friends' posts. You can opt to receive an email alert to let you know when you've received a direct message or a friend invite so that you don't miss them.
It's very easy to make your profile private - then only your existing followers can see your comments, and anyone else who'd like to follow you has to ask first (normally anyone can follow anyone else without need of an invite). It's also easy to 'unfollow' people, block them if necessary, put them into lists so that you can follow a particular group of people's posts if you want to - the only real limit is your own curiosity. If you don't really care much about posting comments yourself, it's the perfect place to lurk and watch other people's posts! If you already use Facebook, you'll recognise Twitter to some extent as being a glorified version of the status update, with nothing but that as a constant feed, so if that already drives you mad, this is not the site for you! Also, as a tool for talking to your friends, it's the wrong application entirely as that's not what it was intended to be. I use both sites, and find that they each fulfil a different purpose. Where Facebook is great as a general source of information by friends, organisations and fanpages which can include photos, videos & what have you, personally I find Twitter a great source of bang-up-to-date uncluttered information from people and groups that I'm interested in, now that Twitter has been embraced by so many people. I'm hooked, I think!
(Also posted under this username on Ciao)
Summary: Hugely enjoyable, informative & useful social networking site