Friday, March 20, 2009

A Therapist's Basic Guide to Twitter - Part One, What is Twitter?

TGIF fellow therapists,

If you have not been hearing about Twitter lately, then you must be living under a rock. Twitter is definitely a hot topic right now, and is growing at an insane rate. So, what is this thing, and why would a therapist in private practice care? Well, let's start simple.

Twitter can most accurately be described as a micro-blog. As a Twitter user, you post updates of up to 140 characters. Reading different Twitter users, you'll see that the posts range from small personal news (what restaurant they are at, what band they are seeing) to online news articles or websites that they found interesting and wanted to share. 

It really brings together aspects of Facebook's status update, and the editorial filtering/spinning of blogs. The difference between it and Facebook is that any user can see your postings (unless you lock down privacy options), and people can search on keywords and see previous posts of yours. So this is more public, like a blog. Also, just as in both Facebook and a blog, people "follow" people they find interesting (so that they see their posts automatically).

Like a blog, the posting of links is definitely part of the culture. People are culling the web for you, and saying "take a look at this". All in short little posts called "tweets".

To see an example of a Twitter account and tweets, take a look at my Twitter page - serving both my counseling and web consulting businesses.

In my next posts, I'll get into how I think you can use a Twitter account for your business, and some of the finer details of this medium.

On to the weekend! Best, Peter


Naomi said...

This is really excellent! I like how you compared Twitter to blogging. There are many similarities to Facebook too. I love both the similarities, and the differences between Facebook, Twitter, my blog, my email, and so on. I think understanding the functions all these social networking sites fulfill, and how to best use them to serve our purposes, is part of what makes it so fun to use social media!

Peter Hannah MA LMHC
Your Google Guy

Thanks Naomi! More to come. I have a BIG difference on the use of Facebook vs Twitter for us therapists.