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Micro-blogging and Twitter

1 June 2009

David Rozental

Much has been written about blogs and personal pages. Many of us already belong to the "peeking" and sharing culture and expose ourselves on at least one social network on the internet. For example, if you've uploaded the pictures from your last trip to your Facebook wall- I can now get to know you, as you can me, my friends and colleagues and their friends and colleagues as well.

Nevertheless, this doesn't seem enough for networking addicts, and so a new phenomenon had slipped into our internet lives: micro-blogging. If the classic blog blurs the distinction between the private and the public, the micro-blog takes us one step further. The micro blog is an almost immediate journal, a live report on anything one wants, basically answering the simple question: "what are you doing now?" It can be updated from an internet website, from instant messaging software or a cellular phone and it reports immediately to all friends on the internet, mobile phone and other devices.

Like any other phenomenon in social networks, this too has different manifestations in different websites. Facebook enables you to report what you're doing at this instance, in life or internet; Microsoft has added a messaging feature for free reporting of your current activity, as well as a possibility to update according to the song you're listening to. Thus the context of our conversation changes when we learn what our chat partner is doing at this second.

Undoubtedly, the main player in this field is Twitter which is entirely based on micro-blogging. It is featured on many cellular phones nowadays as well. Twitter, which for more than half a year operated nearly underground, has recently been discovered by leaders of public opinion in the US and has subsequently become a hit. Commercial entities such as internet websites, PR agencies, musicians and shops have begun using Twitter in order to invite friends to events. It is very easy to enter and exit new mailing lists, so while the content may be considered spam it is fully monitored spam…

Alike open code, Twitter also provides programmers with developing tools. Thanks to this fact, tens of software and websites automatically report for you to Twitter ("I'm just now reading your email" when you activate the email, or "I'm in a meeting till four" if you've set a meeting in your computerized calendar) so you don't exert yourself reporting…

Micro-blogging is more interesting as a phenomenon than an activity. This new platform, which enables immediate reporting and reading of reports, is another layer of new communication which should be neglected. A combination of micro-blogging with different technologies- pictures which appear immediately after being taken, a message reporting that there is vacant parking around, etc. can be useful in the near future and not merely another addiction for pastime.

Examples of use of large companies

  1. Tools which enable to communicate conventions, events and news (similar to a bulletin board in the portal- the same idea only one step further). Example: Ernst and Young.

  2. A tool which enables advertising professional teams (similar to a community, shared blog or wiki- yet focused on short messaging). Examples: Microsoft, IBM.

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