Twitter: My Social Media Swiss Army Knife

My twitter account is @leodesousa and I am a huge fan of Twitter.  I started tweeting on March 20, 2008 after reading about Twitter on a blog that I was following.  In that time, I have tweeted over 8600 times and average about 6 tweets a day.  Almost one third of my tweets are part of a conversation with someone and one tenth of my tweets are retweets.  These are tweets from people that I follow that I found valuable and wanted to share. To see more about my Twitter profile look here: http://twanalyst.com/leodesousa. If you want to get more information about your Twitter profile and behavior try Twanalyst.com. Enter your Twitter name and see your results.

Here are a few reasons that Twitter is my Social Media Swiss Army Knife.

Connecting and Building a Global Community

Twitter has become an invaluable tool for me to build networks, to learn and to socialize.  I really value the connections I have on Twitter.  Essentially, I have a global support network with peers, colleagues and friends in:  

  • Auckland, New Zealand
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • London, England
  • Cardiff, Wales
  • Tampa Bay, Florida
  • Madison, Wisconsin
  • Rochester, Minnesota
  • Vancouver, BC

Looking at this fine group of people that I follow, I can ask a question or get advice or comment 24/7;  they are my global support network enabled by Twitter.  Now that is cool and powerful! This is something I would not have dreamed of and realistically was not viable with the asynchronous nature of email, posting to listservs or discussion forums.

A Source of Identity and Single Sign On

Have you ever connected to social media tools using your Twitter account?  Facebook has a similar authentication method called “Facebook Connect”.  Twitter uses something called OAuth – Open Authentication method.

“OAuth is an authentication protocol that allows users to approve application to act on their behalf without sharing their password. More information can be found at oauth.net or in the excellent Beginner’s Guide to OAuth from Hueniverse.”  -from Twitter FAQ

Many social media sources allow you to identify yourself using your Twitter credentials.  This saves you having to remember unique identities for every site you go to.  All you have to remember is your Twitter login information.  Twitter enables “single sign on”.

Status Updating Platform

I use Twitter to create status updates in one place (usually TweetDeck or Twitter for Blackberry) and push my tweets to Facebook and LinkedIn.  I find it far more convenient to use one simple updating service that I can share in multiple places.  The trick for me is about context and audience.  I will only push certain tweets to Facebook (family and friends), others to LinkedIn (business) and some I just keep on Twitter (Enterprise Architecture, IT and Leadership thinking).  You can control where your updates go with tools like TweetDeck and also use hashtags and rules to send tweets to your other Twitter-connected social media sites.

News Aggregator

I use Twitter as my news aggregator and as @chrisbrogan calls it “a listening post”.  Each morning before work, I scan my Twitter feed for current and breaking news, tweets with topics that interest me and to catch up on my friends tweets.  I get a real sense of connection with people around the world and I can contribute my ideas and voice to the conversations.  Usually, I will favorite 5 to 10 tweets each morning for me to review and read later.  Many of these tweets have lead to me posting on my own blog: Enterprise Architecture in Higher Education.

I have tried other social media platforms like Facebook, Google Buzz, Google Plus, and LinkedIn.  None are as flexible and fit for my social media  interactions like Twitter does.  Twitter is my global connector, application enabler, status update platform and news aggregator.  Hopefully, you now understand why Twitter is my Swiss Army Knife of Social Media.

How do you use Twitter? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.