Facebook may be the social networking service of choice for most people on the web (they recently surpassed the 200 million mark for members!), but it is Twitter that is making the waves these days, and for good reason! I've been a member of Twitter for quite some time now, but only in recent months have I become totally hooked to it. It has galvanized the social media industry with it's awesome concept of real-time updates and bringing people together in a completely different way.
For the uninitiated, Twitter is a service that lets you post real-time updates from your phone or through the web on your own page using applications such as UberTwitter (blackberry), Tweetie (iPhone) and TweetDeck (computer). Other people can choose to follow you depending how interesting your updates are (basically, how interesting you are). Twitter hash tags (for e.g., #Karachi) help keep track of topics being discussed and helps in making new connections and/or finding people with similar interests. It is also meant to bring context to people's tweets. At the time of writing of this post, the most popular hashtags on twitter were #IranElection #Tehran and #FollowFriday. Clicking on these will display updates in real-time! Here's a nice little video I found on youtube that explains the service in plain english:
TIME recently published an article about Twitter entitled 'How Twitter will change the way we live'. One of the excerpts from the article couldn't be any truer ... "If you're looking for interesting articles or sites devoted to Kobe Bryant, you search Google. If you're looking for interesting comments from your extended social network about the three-pointer Kobe just made 30 seconds ago, you go to Twitter." How true!
In Pakistan, Twitter has taken off recently. Online activism using sites like Facebook and Twitter has been the highlight of the last 1-2 years. And with an increasing number of Pakistanis turning to the web to voice their opinions in the form of blogs and tweets, things can only get better. The trending topic among Pakistanis right now is obviously the ongoing Twenty20 world cup. Using hash tags such as #t20, #PakCricket and #Pakistan, several hundred people are tweeting their thoughts on the web in real-time. Teeth Maestro is even gathering support for an e-rally in support of our team for tomorrow's final.
So go ahead, join the tweeting bandwagon and while you're at it ... click on the cute birdie if you wanna follow me :)
Twitter on Wikipedia
HowStuffWorks - How Twitter works