The Twitter Cult Not a day goes by without reading something about Twitter, the micro blogging site that has become somewhat a cult with millions of followers all over the world, not to mention that movie stars and celebs of all shapes and sizes are jumping in to give their two pennies worth of tweeting. Or is it tweetering?
Hey, even President Barack Obama is on Twitter! And even actress Demi Moore tweeted on Twitter - "It made me teary" - about unlikely singing sensation Susan Boyle, whose jaw-dropping performance of the Les Miserables song "I Dreamed A Dream" on "Britain's Got Talent" enchanted millions, and turned her into an overnight star.
No wonder it's now a 'cool fad' to be seen and heard on this community cum news-gathering site. Basically, Twitter is a free social messaging utility for staying connected in real-time.
Twitter junkies abound.
Users come on board to engage each other in snappy conversations that border on triviality such as what they are having for dinner, why they are getting a new pet and some other 'mumbo jumbo' that only the initiated can understand.
Some are tweeting about a great article they have just posted hoping for a rush of visitors to their sites or marketing some new products. Some just want to socialize and swap gossips about what's hot and what's not - even about their personal lives.
Well, it's up to your imagination and inclination to see how you want to utilize Twitter to your satisfaction and advantage. Be aware that whatever you tweet will be read by a huge audience. Sometimes, negative vibes take over and one may lose a job because of his or her Twitter comments. It happened to a woman who, on being offered a job at Cisco, posted a Tweet saying she would hate the work, which was discovered by a Cisco employee. Goodbye, job!
It's also a great hunting ground for spammers and computer worms as happened recently when the Twitter site came under attack.
Businesses are also turning to Twitter in a big way. They see Twitter as an online communications tool to promote company news, social interactions, mentoring, sales and marketing and more. With millions of users roaming across the Twitter site, it makes sense to them that it's a great place to establish brand names, gain exposure, boost public relations and all that jazz that business types always look out for.
The fact that Twitter's popularity has grown by leaps and bounds can be attributed to media attention. Since February, Twitter grew by 131%, according to Comscore Media Matrix data. That represents a percentage growth of more than five million visitors to Twitter. Most of Twitter's users are in the 35-49 age group.
In a blog post, ComScore analyst Andrew Lipsman wrote that media coverage had something to do with Twitter's upsurge, citing that Newt Gingrich had used Twitter to criticize President Obama for his handling of the Somali pirate situation. ""Like it or not, Twitter is quickly revolutionizing the way our entire news ecosystem operates, from journalist to consumer, and blurring the lines in between," Lippman wrote.
Recently, during the three by-elections taking place simultaneously in Malaysia, news site The Malaysian Insider was tweeting the latest vote counts coming through to keen followers. Those with laptops, drinking latte at some coffehouse, were checking on the tweets and tweeting among friends as they followed the polls.
Twitter's new cool has also made it a target of Google. There were whispers that Microsoft might be interested, too. Well, that's what you get on the grapevine. We have yet to see Big Goog make its move. Will Big Goog gobble up Twitter? Or will the little bird, I mean Twitter, soar like an eagle on its own wings?
Now, there's a culture and language to follow if you want to be a savvy Twitter aficionado. To be a true blue Twitter user, learn to speak 'twitterese' once you become a follower, be a good conversationalist and have good manners. Of course, have fun, too!
Whatever Twitter is, there are those who have become addicted to it and those who just don't get it why they are limited to a 140-character tweet message. To be honest, I'm not much of a tweeter. Although I have signed up with Twitter more than a year ago, I still don't get that twitch to twirl around the site. Does that make me a twit? - Mark Khoo
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