Twitter has been the talk of the blogosphere and tech community for the last few weeks. Twitter has taken a simple idea and technology to create an easy to use and somewhat addictive product thus turning it into a growing phenomenon.
I finally gave in and reviewed Twitter two weeks ago along with a number of other bloggers. Robert Scoble even convinced Mike Arrington of TechCrunch to start using Twitter today. Upon setting up Twitter I opted to not get Twitter updates on my mobile phone. This week while in Silicon Valley, I decided to configure my profile to turn mobile updates on thinking I would stay better connected and to see just how disruptive it might be. Since turning them on, I have received hundreds of messages from all my Twitter friends.
A few things that I learned while using Twitter:
1.) Twitter can be a great connector - Twitter can be an excellent connector as I now feel I have more personal insight into all of my Twitter friend's as they offer short, usually personal, stream of conscience updates.
2.) Twitter can cause information overload - Twitter can produce lots of messages! It can be a slight distraction if you find yourself compelled to read every message that comes your way.
3.) Twitter could cost you - Twitter's SMS/text messaging update options could cost you on your mobile bill so be sure to check you mobile plan to make sure you can handle a lot more incoming text messages.
4.) Twitter is great for events - SXSW Interactive and the more recent VON conference are great examples of events that Twitter can enhance the experience as Twitter members can all Twitter the event.
5.) Twitter could be used as an alarm clock - If you have the Twitter mobile updates on you can configure some sleep hours where mobile updates are not sent. I found that doing this was a good idea. Interestingly, the time you set to resume mobile updates doubles as a wake-up call as the updates start flowing in.
6.) You can watch Twitter - Steve Rubel pointed out Twittervision which plots Twitter updates from around the globe on a map (as shown below). It could suck you in for a large chunk of time - so proceed with caution if you are short on time. Twittervision makes it easy to "people watch" and potentially meet new Twitter friends.
Photo Attribution: Ed Kohler via Flickr.