Why You Should Join Twitter

3 Jun

For the longest time, I didn’t “get” twitter. I used to say it was just facebook for people who can’t think past 140 characters. The concept of “followers” instead of “friends” didn’t jive with my experience from facebook and the good ole days of MySpace, and when I did join, and I did get followers, they just weren’t as engaged as my facebook friends.

The first thing I found twitter to actually be useful for, was getting the news. I wasn’t so much using it as a social network as much as a news feed. I followed influential people, politicians, prominent bloggers and the like. They certainly didn’t give a damn about anything I had to say, but I would find out about news often hours before it hit the TV or radio, and that was before I even understood hashtags.

Hashtags, trending topics, and searches in general are what make twitter powerful. Your enjoyment of twitter is not dependent on followers. Followers can certainly make things more interesting, but what separates twitter from facebook is that you communicate with people from outside your own circle. When you tweet something with a hashtag, everyone following that hashtag sees your tweet, not just your followers, and since there are half a billion twitter users, you can see how that might lead to some interesting interactions that you wouldn’t find dealing with your circle of friends. It might be about serious things like politics, or about funny things, like, well, politics.

For example, the other day, #NewObamaTVShows was trending, so I tweeted
The Walking Debt #NewObamaTVShows
Curb Your Malthusianism #NewObamaTVShows
Let’s Break A Deal #NewObamaTVShows
Law & Order: IRS Targeting Unit #NewObamaTVShows

People retweet, favorite, or reply to them and you interact with those people, and you of course, retweet, favorite, and reply to the tweets of strangers. It’s a blast, and doing that is how you gain followers.

During the Boston martial law incident, twitter was where you got your news. People in Watertown were tweeting pics/videos with the hastags #Watertown #Boston and #Manhunt

You saw martial law in real time, along with updates from the police scanner. Several online police scanner feeds were taken down and even main stream news outlets were unable to keep up with what was happening. But savvy twitter users got access to several lesser known scanner feeds, and had real time text, image, audio, and video coverage of the entire ordeal.

If you were following me on twitter, facebook, or Google+, and watching the news at the same time, you would have found out about the alleged capture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from me before you would have from Fox, MSNBC, or CNN. That’s because I was following the story on twitter.

Twitter allows you to receive SMS notifications from certain twitter users if you choose, and this makes it a very useful tool in a number of circumstances. I recently set up the “Suffolk County Cop Block Helpline” where people can send an SMS to 631-50-9-BLOCK (631-509-2562) and it will be tweeted by @CopBlock631. I receive an SMS every time @CopBlock631 tweets, as do other Cop Blockers in the area, so if somebody for example, spots a checkpoint, activists and cameras will descend upon the scene and warn motorists. I originally got this idea from FreeKeene.com when I lived in the area. They have “Keene 411”, which operates in a similar fashion to the Suffolk Cop Block Helpline, but it is used more widely and more frequently by the activist community there.

Last but not least, there are some really funny twitter accounts you just have to follow, here are some examples…

@callmypenis 18h
I call my penis Religion because I like to shove it down people’s throats.

‏@KimJongNumberUn 31 May
Given the risks of genetically modified food, our policy of no food is looking pretty golden.

Condescending Wonka ‏@OhMrWonka 9h
I’m not saying you’re a slut, I’m just saying if your vagina had a password, it would be 1234

Then there’s @iLikeGirlsDaily… They aren’t very funnny, but, well, just follow them 😉

And of course, follow me for the best of it all. @voteforcantwell

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2 Responses to “Why You Should Join Twitter”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. How To Set Up Group Text Messaging | Cop Block - July 3, 2013

    […] my previous article, I mentioned setting up the Suffolk County Cop Block Helpline, an idea I got from the Keene411 […]

  2. How To Set Up Group Text Messaging | OccuWorld - July 3, 2013

    […] my previous article, I mentioned setting up the Suffolk County Cop Block Helpline, an idea I got from the Keene411 […]

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