Sunday, 19 July 2009


I am often asked to describe Twitter by people who say they don't understand it. So here goes.

Twitter can be used to tell people what is going on in your life and put up photos of you doing it, in effect like an online diary, but if that's all you want to do you're better off with Facebook. Twitter is much more about finding people who you find interesting and then linking with them ('following'). So rather than linking to your existing friends, you link to complete strangers from all over the world.

You 'follow' people who strike you as being of interest. Some of the time you read what the people you follow are saying and might decide to respond to them.

If people find what you say interesting, they may decide to 'follow' you, in other words, they want to keep an eye on what you are saying.

People use Twitter in different ways and sadly, some of them just want to try to sell you something so there are lots of 'spammers' on Twitter. The good news though, is that they are easy to recognise and then block so that they never trouble you again. The same is true of anyone who annoys you or is rude to you.

In my own case, I try to be interesting, and, almost as if I were writing a magazine for general consumption, I try to appeal to a wide audience. I will put up links to news items which I find interesting and which my followers might not have seen. I put up an occasional photo which might be of interest. I will 'tweet' funny quotes or jokes. I play music tracks (via which I think people might like. Also, like many others, I will sometimes repeat something good which someone else has said. Most of all though, I respond and chat to people. There's nothing better than the personal touch!

This approach has introduced me to lots of new friends worldwide and listening to them has helped me to get a good feel for what it is like to live in their part of the world. It has also allowed me to interract with a range of people from different age groups. This has given me an insight into what people in their 20's, 30's or 40's are doing and thinking. I find this aspect fascinating. Think of it this way, it's like people-watching but taken to a whole new level.

It's no exaggeration to say that Twitter has changed my life. I think I would be devastated if it ever ceased to be. The only problem with it, is that it's easy to become addicted to it!


  1. Tony, this is so true! I find Twitter very interesting too! Ann XX

  2. I am Smart Mouth Broad and I am a twitteraholic.

  3. Tony, what a great explanation of Twitter! I always find it hard to explain to others when they ask. And you are most certainly correct when you say it can be addictive. I find I miss it when I can't tweet!