A Couple of Twitter Trends

It is interesting to watch Twitter take off.  Over the past few months, I have seen increasing adoption of Twitter.  Here are a couple of trends worth mentioning.

eZines on Twitter

I think this is a great idea. I follow several ezines (the latest being IDG Connect). I found some of them through Twitter Search and others through links in their email alerts. Here are some advantages:

  • You learn about new articles and webcasts as soon as they are ready (right now many ezines still do a batch mode bursts of Tweets but hopefully that will change).
  • There is finer granulartiy of information. Since each article link is a separate Tweet, you can individually reply to or Retweet, announcing it to your own group of followers.
  • You can also selectively bookmark (favorite) individual articles
  • If you are interested enough in that area, you can even start a group or a Friend Feed room

Even though I used to receive the same information in an email form, when it comes as several Tweets, I am able to do more with it with more convenience.

Twitter Packs

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed one of my friends Tweet about Semantic Web Pack.  Since it is one my areas of interest I followed the link to see what it was. To my pleasant surprise I found these:

  • A Twitter pack is a collection of individuals/bots,  Tweeting about a certain topic. It is like a BOF (bird of feathers) group that I normally participate in conferences.
  • This was in fact a pbwiki application where you can simply follow all the people in a pack (or selectively follow a few)
  • There were several useful and interesting packs

It gave me one click access to my special interest group. Even though I could have done the same (with some difficulty) using Twitter Search, this was so much easier.

Trending Topics

One of the easy ways of following hot news is to subscribe to bots that track  Trends.  It is  a nice way to follow conversations and growing interest in certain topics on Twitter. Two trending bots I follow are Trending and Real Time Trends.

Many Ways I Use Twitter

I am on and off on Twitter. But of late I am more on. Here is why. I found a bunch of uses of Twitter.

  1. As a bookmarking tool (I started using it in addition to del.icio.us)
  2. As a source for instant tech info – I follow some cool dudes like Dave Winer, Robert Scoble, Jon Udell, Dion Hinchcliffe, eHub and zdnet. I get a lot more than what I can handle in any given day
  3. As a source of instant social news – I follow a bunch of friends and as the twit, I get hit
  4. As an idealog – I just started this. Throw out ideas and someone will respond. A quick validation. Previously I used to blog about it (takes too much time), write it down (forget where it is), put it in a wiki (again takes too much time). I know that I can take these idea stream and work on some of them at some point in time.
  5. I think some really cool stuff is happening with twitter as a collaboration tool. I followed Dion and team building a social graph app on Google engine (heard it through Dave’s posts)
  6. Talk to myself. Read-pause-reflect an eternal spiral.
  7. As a LearnLog (what did I do, why did I do it and when did I do it). Always amusing to see why work seems so much fun and after some time realize that you are kind of working but mostly having fun.

I think I will set some self imposed limits so that I do not become an addict. I haven’t figured out what they are yet. Here is my Twitter Account.

Update: The original title was Seven Ways I use Twitter. Then I though, why limit it? Why not keep adding new ones?

8. Purely for fun – it is kind of intoxicating

9. Just getting out “Ideas Worth Spreading” – a tag line of TED Talks, I love

10. As an advertisement for my blog? Mixed feelings about that.