Friday, March 27, 2009
What To Tell Your Mum About Twitter When She Phones
"Hi mum, yes, believe it or not that funny sleepwalking dog video from Aunt Mabel can screw up your computer. It's called a virus. And no, she probably didn't send it either, that's a spam bot. No, not a spam hotpot.
"OK, where were we? No, mum -- Twitter is not full of twits. So, what is it then? Hmmm. Good question. Put it this way: we're talking on the phone together right now. We're catching up and swapping our latest news. Twitter is exactly the same ... with two differences.
"Firstly, you write your updates instead of talking about them. Secondly, anyone can listen in, and they can respond too if they want. Don't worry mum, if they're like the nosy old guy across the street who talks about his cats all the time, you can block them from seeing your conversation. And you know what else? If you really get to like your neighbours, you can follow them and see what they're talking about. And they won’t mind. Yeah -- I knew you’d like that part!
"OK, I know you're keen to start chatting to people, but slow down a bit. You talked for too long then. There's a word limit on each piece of the conversation. In fact, mum, it's only 140 characters to be exact. Don’t panic, you'll learn to get to the point.
"And you know that gossip you like to pass on over the garden fence to Mrs. Scratchett. Guess what? That's called a ReTweet. It's a great way of spreading some news, and someone else gets the credit. You may even get noticed on Fridays if someone recommends you as a Follow.
"So, mum, do you understand more about what Twitter is now? Great. Now can you please pass me to dad, he wanted to know how to make some beer money off social media.