So, recently I have become somewhat enamored with twitter. Twitter is micro-blogging. Meaning – You only have 140 Characters to say whatever it is, you want to say. Whatever you write gets sent to everyone else on twitter that is “following” you. (Like a friends/stalker list) You can reply or direct message people that are your friends, but for the most part it is nothing but a mini status update. (Ex: Adam: On my way to the bar with some friends OR Bob: I just saw a talking squirrel!!)
I first heard about twitter a year ago and thought it was somewhat ridiculous. Who needs to know what their friends (and strangers) are doing 24 hours a day? However I learned quickly that it is addicting. A good tech savvy programmer friend of mine started using twitter and was quick to mention he also thought it was a little overkill. Since he was using it I figured I would try it out as well since I would know at least ONE person right when I signed up.
After signing up I realized just how flexible twitter is. Twitter gives you the option not only to follow someone (meaning your homepage will show what they are up to) but also to be notified when that person updates. These updates are done via messages to your phone (via SMS) or your instant messaging client. You can also update twitter using SMS or IM. I would suggest limiting the people you have notifications set up for though, mostly because you will get LOTS of texts or IM’s if you have notifications set up for everyone you follow. They also offer widgets, flash apps and html apps to put on your own site that will show your latest twitter updates. So that’s twitter and what twitter offers directly.
Twitter also has an open API and because of that, there are twitter apps for iGoogle, OSX Dashboard and my phone. There are hundreds of sites out there devoted to finding new ways to data-mine twitter and make something interesting out of it. There are lots of different web apps that can be used in conjunction with twitter to produce automatic twitter updates or to update your blog with your twitter post. Not to mention the obligatory facebook apps. There is a blog dedicated to just twitter applications – twitterholics. A site for the twitter community – twittown. Currently I use twitterberry(Blackberry Twitter app), GTalk and the web to post updates, and I post or check on my friends twitter timeline a couple times a day.
So, I decided to embrace twitter.
Other than my own personal twitter account, I set up two others.
1. Chicago Blackhawks twitter that posts automatically whenever the Blackhawks‘ official website updates their rss feeds for News, New Articles or New Videos. It will post a twitter that contains the title of the new content along with a link to that story on the Blackhawks website. It is all automated so unless I want to change some settings later it should just continually update whenever the B’Hawks do. Check it out here
It works like this: I posted to Tumblr and twitterfeed reads that and posts it to twitter. Than a little later Tumblr reads twitter to see if there are any new posts and if so – it will post them on Tumblr as a new blog post. Twitterfeed will read the new post and update twitter. So it becomes an endless loop. In fact, as of now it is set to update once an hour, thus why it is called the TwiTumblweed. Like a real tumbleweed it just rolls on through from time to time. The Tumblr for it is here. And the twitter for it is here.
* Tumblr is a mini-blogging site. You can post pictures, text, quotes, audio, video, chat or links. Most can be posted via e-mail, Tumblr website, your phone, or rss feed. It can integrate feeds from digg, del.icio.us, twitter, wordpress, VOX, blogger, LiveJournal, Vimeo, YouTube, or any other rss feed. I currently use Tumblr to post pictures from my phone while on the road, mp3 clips that I enjoy, and the occasional funny quote. My Tumblr will send a message to my twitter account when I have a new post to let my twitter followers know I posted something new.