An introduction to twitter

There has been a phenomenon slowly creeping over the lie of the land. You may or may not be aware of it. All I can really say is that you will be, sometime in the very near future. Maybe even tomorrow as you’re listening to Radio One over breakfast. Chris Moyles has been going on about it, Stephen Fry can’t get enough of it, and even Number 10 Downing Street is telling the world everything it can in 140 characters. Yes, it is the titanic force of Twitter I am speaking of that has recently steamrollered its way into a lot of people’s lives.

By 2008, Twitter had played host to well over 5 million visitors, which places it high amongst some of the most influential sites on the internet today. It’s brilliance is undeniable. The definition of Twitter has been notoriously hard to pin down as anyone who has read any of the articles on it will realise. It is, basically, comprised of a series of short, sharp updates known as Tweets from Twitter followers. It’s easily accessible on mobiles and PCs which means that you can pretty much chirp your message to the world from any location. However, it has gone above and beyond a mere notification system: it has built a sense of community, as people come to the aid of their fellow followers if they can help in any way. The best example of this is the man known as the Twitchhiker. As part of a charity challenge, the Twitchhiker has proclaimed that he will travel as far as he possibly can in the space of a month solely reliant on the wonders of Twitterers the world over. [pullquote align=right]As part of a charity challenge, the Twitchhiker has proclaimed that he will travel as far as he possibly can in the space of a month solely reliant on the wonders of Twitterers the world over.[/pullquote] And from the most recent tweet, he seems to have raised just under £1,000 in charitable donations purely from the good hearts of his Twitter followers…Not bad considering he’s starting out on 1st March.

The main point is that news spreads as fast as a lighting strike these days on the internet. We are lucky enough to have information a mere tap and click away. But what Twitter does is give you the information you’re interested in alongside the chance to debate, converse, ponder and marvel at ideas that other followers have typed in response. And trust me, it’s always a very quick response. One eager individual described Twitter in what I think is probably one of the best, albeit absolutely dripping with cheese, descriptions I’ve heard:

“Twitter is a room full of strangers. Just talk to your friends and you’ll leave the party early. Mingle, and you’ll learn, share and grow.”