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Oh Twitter how I love thee! Let me count the ways…Although you might not hear those exact words said very often online, you know it’s true when you login to your Twitter account or visit someone’s blog.

With the emergence of WordPress plug-ins like TwitThis and the various twitter badges found on numerous blogs throughout the Internet, it is obvious people adore Twitter. Just what is it that makes this social networking site so lovable? Let’s find out.

The question posed by Twitter, “What are you doing?” has become almost as popular as AOL’s “You’ve got mail.” So much so that it has even caught the eye of offline news mediums such as USA Today, CNN, and ABC. This helps to make the application popular all on its own. Those who think Twitter is just a place for computer or Internet geeks can rest assured it’s nothing of the sort.

For many, Twitter is a way to interact with like-minded individuals. Whether one is a stay at home mom who craves adult conversation, an at home worker who misses the water cooler chit-chat from past jobs, or the business owner who wants to reach more of their target market, this form of social media fills a need. It makes it easier for people to connect with others in a way they might not have previously been able to in the past.

The fact Twitter is easily accessible and even simpler to navigate makes it a favorite as well. Anyone can create a twitter account of their own with nothing more than a user name and a password. Once that’s done, it’s easy to customize your profile and begin following other tweeps, as those who use Twitter affectionately call one another.

To follow what another person is doing, just visit their page and click the follow button. You’ve now been added as a follower and when you login to your account you will see their messages on your screen.

Twitter’s arrival has also lead to the creation of different platforms and applications to make it appealing to just about everyone. Popular applications include, TwitterFox, Twhirl, TweetDeck,TweetMyBlog, and TweetLater. TwitterFox and Twhirl give users who prefer the instant messaging look and feel a way to use Twitter in somewhat the same manner. TwitterFox is an extension for the Firefox browser and Twhirl is a desktop application.

TweetMyBlog is a way to automatically post updates from a user’s blog to Twitter. In order to use it all one needs is a Twitter account and an RSS feed from their blog. It will automatically posts a tweet using your account when your blog is updated.

TweetDeck is another desktop application that allows for more organization of updates. Instead of posting all a users tweets one right after another, it allows the user to organize tweets into separate columns within the application. For those who have customers and friends on Twitter this is a great feature. I was a little turned off by the initial black and gray desktop colors but easily changed the colors to fit my personality.

There are some newer applications such as TwitWall and MyTweetSpace. TwitWall allows you to customize your profile with video, pictures and bookmarking options. MyTweetSpace allows more design options for your profile. Check out some of these features and discover your favorites. I’m off to tweet with my tweeps!


Naomi Trower

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