You can use Twitter as a shorthand newsletter. The example that LifeHacker gave was a video store, whose employees can post new movies now available for rental, holiday business hours, limited-time sales promo, etc. Likewise, web hosting providers can keep customers posted on network status (“some DC2 circuits scheduled for maintenance @ 2-3am”) or announce new products (“this just in: quad core servers for $199!”).
Technorati, CNN, BBC Video and Google News all have Twitter channels, so clearly business is finding the service useful.
Meg Pickard takes a look at how individuals use Twitter.
She says, “different people use it in very different ways.”
Her Twittering classes are:
- The Briefers, who provide only bulletins relating to current location or status. Example: Waiting for the bus. Cold.
- The Detailers, who use Twitter to give an insight into what they’re thinking, eating, listening to, looking forward to, planning, and so on. Example: Wondering what to have for tea tonight. Pasta, maybe.
- The Kitchen Sinkers, who use Twitter as a new form of blogging, recording thoughts and links and opinions and ideas, addressed to no-one in particular. Example: Traffic lights broken at the corner of high street. Phoned work and told them I’ll be late. That’s the fourth time this week. Sigh.
- The Pongers, who respond publically to other users whose updates they are receiving via Twitter (so called because they return each IM ping with a pong). Example: @Jim: Hahaha! Yes!
According to Twitter, the service was born as an interesting side project within the offices of Odeo in March of 2006. There’s more on the firm’s blog.
[UPDATE: Book Two is using Twitter to republish James Joyce’s Ulysses, line by line.]