Twitter, tweeters and tweets
No, not the sound of springtime, but the latest thing in online communication. We look at the phenomenon that is helping Kent's business community beat the recession.
What is twitter?
Twitter is one of the latest online methods of communication. Sites like Facebook, MySpace, Friends Reunited and blogs have helped millions "meet" old and new friends and stay in contact online. Now Twitter offers "a highly conversational, lightweight and highly interconnected blog," explains Portfolio Executive (Social Media) Roo Reynolds.
But how does it work? Well, the website gives you 140 characters (letters and spaces) to tell others what you're up to. You can do it as often as you like, and others can sign up to "follow" you and receive your updates. They can then reply to you, either privately or in public.
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Why use it?
As well as the more mundane chit chat, the site is used as a tool by celebs, politicians and journalists.
Gordon Brown and Barack Obama are known to log on. Jonathan Ross and Stephen Fry are well known for keeping their fans up-to-date with their latest tweets.
If you want more than just words, then Twitpic does exactly what it says on the tin. You use the same log on and password for both websites. You can post images from your phone, or through the website itself. When the US Airways plane came down in the Hudson River, photos appeared online just minutes after the incident.
BBC South East's Business Correspondent, Richard Smith, has been meeting a group of business people in Folkestone who say tweeting has revolutionised the way they talk to colleagues and customers, and could mean a way for firms to beat the recession.
Businesswoman, Jo Dodds says, "it's actually opened my outlook into how to operate my business, so I was running a local comms magazine and that was all I was doing,.
"I'm now helping local businesses to better market themselves online and that's actually as a result of things like Twitter, and me learning how to use them, and realizing how important they are for local businesses."
Caroline Chambers is a prolific tweeter, ranked number one in Folkestone. She believes the site is the future of business networking:
"Pretty much everyone is on a mobile phone these days and I feel it's going to be the same way with applications like Twitter because you don't need a computer to access them, you can access them from your phone.
"You don't need specialist technology to do it, anyone can do it."
last updated: 21/05/2009 at 12:44