Brent Finnegan -- March 3rd, 2009
During the past several months, tens of thousands of Americans have been jumping on yet another social media bandwagon: Twitter. The number of “active users” of the microblogging service has grown 900% in the last year, according to Twitter co-founder, Biz Stone. The effect of that growth can be clearly seen in the Harrisonburg community.
A status update from a friend on Facebook (proclaiming, “Twitter is retarded”) prompted me to explain how and why this trendy site is having an impact. We integrated Twitter into hburgnews a year ago, and it’s paid off more than once. More often than not, it’s where news is being broken (bits and pieces of news, anyway). If blogs are outpacing newspapers, Twitter is outpacing blogs.
But the messaging service is being used for more than news. Small businesses and realtors are using it to connect with customers and potential clients, opening up short conversations. Scott Rogers is an early adopter who has used Twitter at open houses and foreclosure sales. A few days ago, Klines Dairy Bar created a Twitter account on the suggestion of two customers.
Are you on Twitter? How do you use it? Do you find it “retarded?” Distracting? Useful?