Twitter LogoTwitter is one of those services lots of people are talking about it, but hardly any one ever explains it.

Put as simply as possible, imagine it as text messaging for the web. You have 140 characters to say whatever you want in the box the provide (image here has been shrunk)

Twitter Entry

It asks you, “What are you doing?”, which most people ignore, but it’s a jumping off point.  Once done, you click “update”, and everyone who has chosen to “follow” you, sees your message.  You, in return, can follow them, by visiting their profile and clicking the “follow” button, and then whenever they post an update, it will show up in your “timeline” which shows your posts as well as theirs.

If someone posts something like a question, or something you just feel like commenting on, you can reply to them by entering “@” before their name, and this will make sure to notify them that you were talking to them.  So in my case, if you wanted to reply to me, you would enter “@seanpaune and then just type your message to me”.

Sometimes you want to send the person a message only they can see, in those cases you would enter “d seanpaune and the message”, and this would go to them as a direct message that they can only see, and it will also notify them by email if their settings are to do so.

At this point Twitter is mostly about fun, though some do use it for business, but it is overly effective.  Is it made for everyone?  Probably not, but it’s worth checking out just to say you know what it is.  You can find me at http://twitter.com/seanpaune if you want to check out what my timeline looks like, and you can see what it looks like when I receive messages here.

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