April 28, 2009

Making Twitter Work For You

While this relatively new social microblogging service is- for the most part- for the egotistical broadcast of mundane human activities- celebrity or not, Twitter can also be a really good productivity tool at times. Some practical uses include:

1) Keeping up with news
This is a no-brainer for a lot of people, as the 1 million plus followers of CNN can attest. Truly, it is a lot more convenient for other people to read bite-sized headlines of current news than the actual entirety of the article. While the convenience is there, other important information is left out- which is why several other news organizations in Twitter also provide links alongside the title.

2) Zeroing in on the news you care about
This is different from keeping track of the events happening on the world, because in Twitter you can also focus on a more specialized view on news. Let's say you like football (I refer to soccer as football) and you just happen to be able to find an interesting news source for football on Twitter by using its great Search feature. You can just follow the news source and you'll automatically receive every headline you care about. Why? Because it's just about football and nothing else.

True, you could just subscribe to RSS feeds but RSS feeds aren't exactly used in a widespread manner among computer users, even if they are widespread from site to site, but one can basically track everything a specific website churns out in Twitter anyway, so it's pretty much a mainstream version of the RSS feed.

Say, you like the articles of a certain site, and let's say you just have an allergy to RSS feeds. If you want, you can find the Twitter feed of that site (typically they even endorse it) and Follow it. That way, you can now get links of the articles of the site because unlike CNN, most of the time they just put a little info about the article then put the link of the article alongside it.

3) Keep track of the actual now
Most of the time, people Twitter a significant event as they happen, and the powerful Search tool lets you in on the action. You can literally get up-to-the-minute information of everything in real time and see the different views of different people.

Maybe a less significant example would have to be the elimination episode of a reality show. Say, American Idol. Since Filipinos get the short end of the stick (basically "via satellite" shows aren't really live broadcasts), they can keep track of the actual episode as it happens live. True, you're not exactly watching it, but at least you're really up to date- and you could see the reactions of people as an event happens in that episode as well. Some are utterly worthless, but you'll be surprised at some of the observations people make.

Perhaps American Idol isn't very good for an example... How about a more current example, like the Center for Disease Control tracking Twitter feeds for cases of swine flu?

4) Sync with Internet services
Some Twitter syntax enable you to sync with web services like Remember the Milk, which lets you see your to-do list. I've seen several "hacks" before, but I don't remember where I saw them.

5) Get questions answered
Twitter is a thriving community, and usually, you could ask a question and odds are they could get answered in a set period of time. If you have your friends and your workgroup with you, you could get a mixed set of answers and solutions that you perhaps could have never thought of.

6) To-do list
Twitter has a web page optimized for cellphones, so if you connect your cellphone to the Internet and access Twitter, you could be able to see your to-do list. How do you make a to-do list in Twitter? Tweet the thing you have to do of course!

If you have a lot of followers (or a follower who typically spams your Twitter page), you can favorite the tweet for easier access to it.

Perhaps those are the only ways I can think of that utilizes Twitter in a more productive manner, and this is just the bottom of the barrel.

REFERENCE: Lifehacker (for 4-6)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Elegant de BlogMundi