Recently I have seen another round of the cyclical deluge of posts, pointers, and tips telling people what Twitter is meant for and ‘instructing’ them how they should use it. Most of this advice is invariably wrong simply because there is no certain way that Twitter should be used. It is impossible. Even Twitter doesn’t know what it wants to be when it grows up yet.
However, there are three perpectives about using Twitter that I believe have real merit. The ties that bind all three are that each touches on a range of uses for Twitter and the tones are personalized and/or contemplative, rather than authoritative.
1. How I Use Twitter as a Killer Filtering App by @Doctor_V [Nov 3, 2010]
Concise, clean approach that recognizes the fluid nature of the tool and how it can be employed
2. Twitter: filter, suggestion box, idea machine, window by @SusannahFox [Oct 18, 2010]
Four featured functions of Twitter including example accounts that support each method used
Both of those posts, like all good blog posts, have a number of comments that really add value. The third perspective is…well, it’s a little different. I first watched it on my phone and felt like I was watching a cross between Phil Laak and Mike Caro. @AndrewSpong aptly characterized it as “structured free association”. Just keep your hands inside the car and hang on for the ride that is:
3. The Four Modes of Twitter: Focused, Filtered, Serendipitous and Random by @PhilBaumann via @HealthIsSocial [Oct 29/Nov 4 2010]
I have collected these three perspectives here as a resource for those trying to figure out if it makes sense for them to use Twitter or those trying to get a better idea of Twitter’s utility or lack thereof. The first two perspectives are particularly well-suited for healthcare professionals, researchers, academicians, and students. The third offers more of a James Joyce exploration of the potential of Twitter and is not for the faint of heart. I believe all three have value and hope you find the same.