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Geek by profession, thinker/writer/artist by passion. Part-time blogger,social media enthusiast and a tramp by nature :) A Man Of Mud

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Has Cattlegate Opened The Floodgate ?

Holy Cow! Shashi Tharoor's single tweet has taken Twitter to every nook and corner of India. Now, even the most obstinate bull squatting in the middle of the vegetable market wants to know what Twitter is all about. Of course the cows let loose by their owners to graze in Indian streets are equally curious even if they are not mooing it. Indeed, a lot of people are signing up on Twitter, a vast number intend to do it in near future. But I am a bit skeptical, if most of the people have an understanding on what Twitter is and how it should be used.

I have posted some of my own experiences here

There some facts and opinions that I should mention before proceeding further. I think all Internet users who are not on Twitter can be broadly categorized into 3 categories. The first category includes people who use the Web minimally, their professional as well as personal agenda doesn't allow them to explore the social aspect of Web. As such the whole social media debate is irrelevant to them, at times they are indistinguishable from machines .

Then there are people who think Twitter is just another way of wasting one's time that could be utilized for creating artificial intelligence or achieve major breakthrough in stem cell research. However, you won't find them doing either, instead, you can find them participating in Orkut. Socialization, interaction, collaboration to them means going through photo-albums of this cute chick they came across in the friend list of another friend's friend. The main activity would include sending persistent add requests, leaving flashy images,ASCII art or corny scraps in Hinglish or broken English or do stuff that require little or no intellect. People belonging to this category, who think that the phenomenal growth of twitter userbase, eminent personalities and biggest organizations and almost every website extending tweeting functionality, is because of a social media hype and
who are convinced that Twitter is a waste of time should strictly continue with Orkut, Twitter would be an incompatible medium since the latter requires intellect!

However, there is the third category of users who do not doubt the utility of Twitter but are still not using it because they don't fully understand it or it has not worked for them. Indeed,there is not a single social website that one can join up and start enjoying or get results from day one. How effective social networking sites turn out depends on how well the user has created her network. This is especially true with Twitter since there are no photo albums of users, no social games or "which movie character you are" quizzes (well, there are mechanisms to share images, files etc but they are not integral part of the architecture.) . In other words, your experience on Twitter depends totally upon how you interact with other users (Tweeps). If used properly, it opens a completely new world of options, from real-time news to reaching out to targeting customers/audience and getting the most relevant answer to your questions. The potential is immense! In my follow-up post, I will try to compose a guide for beginners.

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