I think it's time to face the music and write something about the ever growing popularity of Twitter. For those of you who don't know what Twitter is let me first give an explanation by supplying some information from myself and from a wee quote from Wikipedia: "Twitter is a free social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author's profile page and delivered to the author's subscribers who are known as followers. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access. Users can send and receive tweets via the Twitter website, Short Message Service (SMS) or external applications such as Tweetdeck."
Market research firm Pear Analytics analyzed 2,000 tweets (originating from the US and in English) over a 2-week period and separated them into six categories: News, Spam, Self-promotion, Pointless babble, Conversational and Pass-along value. The firm found that "pointless babble" was the largest category of Twitter content, making up 811 tweets or 40.55 percent of the total number of messages sampled. Continue reading....
As you have read above, these tweets or messages can contain any text and often refer to what you are doing or experiencing at a particular moment, they can also refer to an interesting link on the internet, contain news related items or whatever it is that you want to share with the people that are following you. I was and still am sceptical about Twitter. Let's face it, do you really want to know what I am doing all day? Probably not! Some other people however are obviously interesting enough to have lots of followers. Take for instance Lance Armstrong who has 2,392,704 followers and all these people can read live about his whereabouts. So is Twitter only interesting for the rich and famous and those that follow them? Of course not, as you can read further down.
Being sceptical about Twitter doesn't mean I don't use it. For me as a webmaster Twitter has some interesting features. With all these millions of people tweeting about whatever happens in the world Twitter has become an important search engine too. Although Google is getting faster and faster with indexing news websites, Twitter is faster. In fact, everything that is tweeted about on twitter can be found instantly by others all over the world. This means that Twitter is a real time search engine. A view at the homepage of Twitter will reveal the so called "tending topics", keywords and tweets which are most searched for or entered on Twitter and you can enter your own search terms. And so you can always find the latest on whatever subject you are interested in.
Last year I decided to make a Twitter account for the Islay Info website and blog. This Twitter account is primarily meant to tweet about updates that take place on my blog or other Islay websites. This Twitter account is called http://twitter.com/isleofislay and if you decide to follow me you can easily stay up to date on everything that is updated on my Islay websites. You don't need a Twitter account yourself to read my Tweets but if you have one you can reply to my updates or retweet my messages. Retweeting messages means that you share my updates with the people that follow you, who don't necessarily have to follow me. If you want to follow me privately you can do so on http://twitter.com/ronsteenvoorden. Regular readers may have noticed that my latest Islay tweets are already appearing in the left hand column of this blog and also on the homepage of the Islay Info website
There are several people on Islay who use Twitter too. For an overview, far from complete by the way, you can have a look in the Twitter Section of the Islay Directory. And now I can return to the title of this post. Today the Ileach Newspaper started a Twitter account where they hopefully will write about news on Islay and the upcoming stories that will be printed in the upcoming newspaper. You can find their account at http://twitter.com/theileach. Happy tweeting :-)/p>