Twitter For Friends: The Art and Science of Efficient Communication

Although Twitter is great for people of all walks of life and professions, it is probably best for what it was designed for originally: keeping in touch with friends. Twitter makes keeping in touch with friends easier and simpler than ever before.

Because you can tweet, or update, so many different ways, it’s flexible enough to be used from anywhere, which lends itself to being used more frequently than sites like MySpace or Facebook.

Keeping in touch with friends on MySpace/Facebook can sometimes be a challenge because you have so much other noise from people and things you may not care about. Maybe you have a handful of people that post the same bulletins frequently and they clutter up your bulletin board or mini-feed and you sometimes miss a bulletin that your close friends post. Twitter eliminates all of this because there is inherently less noise, and all tweets are limited to 140 characters or less.

There are no friends requests, event invitations, application requests or any of the other distractions you can find on MySpace/Facebook, there is only the status update. The status update is really all that’s important when it comes to keeping up with friends because it allows you to see at a glance what a bunch of your friends are up to.

Twitter detaches the status update from your computer and even your web browser. Users can tweet via text message, desktop Twitter clients and IM. This allows for a social network with more flexibility than most others. Sure, Facebook has a great mobile iPhone version, but not everyone has an iPhone or even a phone with a web browser.

Updating Twitter via text message is something that anyone with any phone can do and that is why it is better than MySpace/Facebook for keeping in touch with friends.

But what are some of the ways that friends can use Twitter to communicate more frequently and make a tangible difference in their lives?

Making Plans via Twitter

Twitter makes making plans simple and fast. Once your core group of friends that you hang out with regularly are using Twitter, you might find that you’re all hanging out even more because now everyone knows what’s going on for the next outing.

Now if you’re trying to get everyone together for the midnight premiere of Indiana Jones, you don’t have to call each person individually and then negotiate the time to meet up and the theater to watch it at. All you have to do is post something along the lines of “Whose down to see Indy tonight at midnight in Alhambra?”

As long as everyone checks Twitter at some point during the day, everyone will reply saying yes, no or suggesting other plans. Bam! Plans suggested and made within minutes with one 140 character message on your part. Beautiful.

Announcing Good News

Now when something good happens, it’s easier to spread the word. Let’s say you just got promoted, maybe you wouldn’t bother to call your 10 closest friends to brag, but that doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t be happy for you and glad to hear about it. Twitter makes it easy to get a virtual round of high fives within minutes of announcing your good news.

Sharing Photo Album Links

How many times have you gone to an event where one of your friends is taking pictures all night? It sure would be nice to get those pictures, but somehow it rarely ever gets done. It’s only when you had an exceptionally great trip or fun time that you get to see your friend’s pictures. Now it’s easy to post a link to a zip file uploaded to zShare and then share it with your friends through Twitter. Just upload it and post the link for everyone to see.

Get their attention by using @replies and you’ve just sent it to them in a hurry and they can all download the zip file and then talk about the pictures and the good times.

Sharing Regular Links

Sharing links to new web sites, music or videos is also made more efficient now, thanks to Twitter. Gone are the days of IMing everyone with some new viral video. Now all you have to do is Twitter it and all your friends, who likely have the same taste as you anyway, will now see that you think they should check out this new find.

Chances are, you don’t tell everyone you know about every cool thing you find on the internet, but that doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t be interested if you let them know. It’s the same idea as using it to spread good news. Just because you don’t want to take the time to tell them, doesn’t mean they wouldn’t like to hear about it.

I hope you now see some ways to use Twitter that you hadn’t thought about before. At it’s best, Twitter can really help bring people closer together and I hope this post can bring you closer to those you care about.

Speaking of bringing people closer together, you should follow me on Twitter! If you have some other friend-related uses for Twitter, please post them in the comments.

Posted under Twitter

Published on 09/03/2010

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