Twitter is ranked as one of the 50 most popular websites worldwide. Although estimates of the number of daily users vary because the company does not release the number of active accounts, a February 2009 Blog entry ranked twitter as the third most used social network. Twitter is without a doubt the best way to share and discover what is happening right now. Twitter is being paid by partners including google, bing and yahoo for access to its firehose of updates. Twitter makes a terrible first impression. You hear about this new service that lets you send 140-character updates to your "followers," and you think, why does the world need this, exactly? It's not as if we were all sitting around four years ago scratching our heads and saying, "if only there were a technology that would allow me to send a message to my 50 friends, alerting them in real time about my choice of breakfast cereal". Twitter is good at gossip, promoting people's interest, and entertaining, but it is also good in some news-related fields. It isn't journalism, but it is good in transporting eyewitness pictures and live tweets, as it is in providing links to sites of interest. During the iran election it even gave access to communication under a suppressive regime. But there are some shortcomings. It is hard to disentangle the truth from the rumour on twitter, and to decide what is real information and what is even misinformation posted there on purpose. Its filters are not really built to manage the scale of information, but maybe lists might be a way of focusing discussions. There are some moral issues as well, as some twitterers start to film injured people rather than helping them. In general, the speed of the news means you run the risk of getting it wrong, or being left behind. With a live stream and real-time communication there is no space for consideration. In addition, twitter is temporary and its streams are fleeting so we risk losing information and history. Can twitter curate journalism as well as feed it?. Twitter is starting to cross into the mainstream, as a wide range of people find interesting uses for the brief notes. Doctors are using twitter to update patients about office hours. Local groups such as the Los Angeles Fire Department are using it to share details about service calls with interested residents, occasionally with graphic descriptions of the victims' conditions. Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co-workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent messages. People write short updates, often called "tweets" of 140 characters or fewer. These messages are posted to your profile or your blog, sent to your "followers", and are searchable on twitter search. All you need to use twitter is an internet connection or a mobile phone. Once you're in, type your first update into the web box. To get an idea of what other people are saying or doing on twitter, check out Twitter Search to see what Twitter's all about. You can search by keyword or just check out the trending topics to see what's hot on Twitter right now. When you create an account, you can search for people by name or user name, import friends from other networks, or invite friends via email. If you don't want to do that, follow some of the people that are suggested. Once you've found your friends, follow them to start getting their updates. Following someone simply means receiving their twitter updates. When you follow someone, every time they post a new message, it will appear on your Twitter home page. New messages are added to your home page as people post them, so you always get the updates in real time. When you log in, you can see what the latest updates are. Twitter offers other ways to follow people too: you can get updates from certain people on your phone. After you click the follow button on someone's profile, you're following them. The follow button will change to a green check mark next to the word "following" with an actions button on the right to remove a person if you want to. If you've registered your phone with twitter, you can set up text preferences for a person as well. For more information, please click here.
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