Everywhere you look nowadays you read or hear about people using Twitter. But what are they using Twitter for? Here are just some of the purposes for which Twitter can be used: - Twitter as a replacement for email. This is because Twitter is faster than email (no need to open an email to read the message) and the tweets are much shorter messages (Twitter's character limit is 140; does email even have a limit?). - Twitter as an automatic news filter. You follow people in your fields of interest and, when they tweet a link of an article that sounds interesting, you can click through and quickly decide if the articles if for you. It's true that I have Google Reader, but I don't have time to look at all those blog posts. I'm happy that the people I follow on Twitter do the screening for me. - Twitter as an up-to-the-second news source. Twitter users beat the news channels about the plane landing safely in the Hudson River in New York and provided instant updates during the Mumbai crisis, to name two examples of Twitter's instant update capabilities. - Twitter as a free press release service. If you have a legitimate product, service, new article, new blog post to announce, go ahead and do so with the link to the product/service/article/blogpost. Your Twitter followers are expecting you to share valuable information with them. - Twitter as a networking tool Using Twitter's search options and third-party applications, you can find like-minded people with whom to connect. This can be for learning purposes or business purposes or social purposes or whatever. - Twitter as a JV (joint venture) partner Because of the ease of finding people in your same or related niche, you can connect with possible joint venture partners. - Twitter as a branding tool If done correctly, Twitter can be a terrific social media platform on which to establish your brand. You can then feed your Twitter updates into other social media platforms to extend your brand across cyberspace. Of course, when you start on Twitter there is a great deal to be learned. In fact, if you truly appreciate Twitter, you never stop learning about the possibilities. I continue to read every report, etc. on Twitter that I can - there's always new information, new ideas, new uses that I learn about. When you have an open mindset, how to use Twitter 101 can cover so many exciting opportunities. First, of course, you have to share valuable information on Twitter so that people know, like and trust you. Then you may be amazed at the productive uses to which you'll be able to put Twitter.