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Should You Be Twittering?
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By Darryl Ohrt

The entire universe of tech geeks are in a flutter about Twitter. Some say it's eroding blogging. Some say it's all hype.

What is it? It's a social networking site. Sort of. It's an IM tool. Sort of. It's a micro-blogging device. Sort of. Twitter allows users to send IM style messages via their computer or phone. Users can read messages from the web, IM, or SMS. Posts in Twitter are limited to 140 characters. Short and sweet is the rule.

So, now the big question...should you Twitter? Some famous people already are. Some notable tech geeks are doing it. Even John Edwards and Darth Vader are twittering.

Currently (and this could easily evolve in about an hour) there seem to be two primary Twitter camps. Friends and business. Friends Twitter that they "just went to lunch." That they're "watching a re-run of Dallas right now." Business Twitterers are discovering new Twitter tools, new uses for the tools, and sharing their up-to-the-minute web finds instantly with their followers.

There are already some cool Twitter tools, and mashups, too:

Twittervision: Real time maps of Twitters, as they happen. Careful - this one's addicting.

TwitterSearch: Search everything happening on Twitter. Twitterers brag about the number of "lego heads" associated with their name as a badge of honor.

At our agency, we see some wonderful uses for Twitter, that have yet to be fully realized:

Entertainment Twitters. If you have fans (or someone you represent does), get Twittering. This is the best way ever to keep fans connected, interested, and Twittering about you.

Workgroups. If you've got a project group spread across the land, this can be a great informal way to stay in touch, and share ideas.

A semi-public brainstorm. We intend to utilize Twitter in this fashion at our agency. Looking for ideas or a solution to a problem? Twitter is an incredible open ended conversation between everyone on your team, and the public. It could be the biggest brainstorm group you'd never fit into a conference room.

Live blogging events. For your clients, for your employees, for your family.

Stay on top of the pulse. Of your industry. Of the internet. Of whatever you might be into - all dependent on who you add to your friends list.

Whether you Twitter or not - you should stop everything this very moment, and secure your brand's name in Twitter. Before someone else does. (I'm sure that Bill Clinton wishes he did this). Then Twitter whenever you're ready.

Be careful. Once you Twitter, you might get hooked. And you don't want to be labeled a Qwitter.


Darryl Ohrt is the founder of VIA and the chief contributor to BrandFlakesForBreakfast.com.

Darryl Ohrt is the founder of Plaid.
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