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Friday, June 21, 2024

One of my hobbies is blogging. Yep, I'm one of those people.

I enjoy getting my thoughts out on the Internet and interacting with people I will probably never see face to face.

While blogging, I discovered Twitter through a friend about a year ago and only recently started using the Web site. This Web 2.0 wonder completely changed my perspective on a few things, which is a rare occurrence in my life.

Twitter is a text-based platform that allows its users to post updates of up to 140 characters in length and read other users' updates (otherwise known as tweets) in real-time over the Internet.

So essentially Twitter is nothing more than a bunch of Facebook status updates and that's it. No photos, no videos, nothing else - just updates that you can make either online or through your cell.

Why would someone think millions of people's updates are something to rave about?

MySpace has close to 200 million users, Facebook has over 110 million users and Twitter has, well, over 5 million users. Twitter doesn't boast the numbers of Myspace and Facebook, but 5 million users is nothing to scoff at - especially when you realize the kind of people who bare their souls on Twitter.

Lance Armstrong, Shaquille O'Neal, Jimmy Fallon, Virgin Group's Richard Branson, as well as actor and producer John Cleese are all on Twitter.

The great Dave Matthews himself is even on Twitter.

Executives of major corporations are also getting in on the action: Kevin Rose of Digg, Michael Arrington of TechCrunch, Pierre Omidyar of eBay, and David Sifry of Technorati are informing people via their updates.

The list goes on and on - so what makes Twitter so significant?

The fact that I can get inside successful people's heads and see how they view the world through their tweets brings me back to the site on a daily basis. With one tweet, I can ask Sara Bareilles when she's going to be in the studio again, and I can get a response that comes directly from her.

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One of my Twitter friends, Ori Bengal, aka CouchSurfingOri, spends every other year crashing the couches of people he meets on Twitter. He starts his trip next week, and his first stop is with Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com.

The core of Twitter is the exchange of questions and ideas from one person, like me, to another, like Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun Microsystems.

I had an issue with my Sprint phone, and a guy who works for the company asked me over Twitter if he could help me with my problem.

I first heard about Flight 1549, the plane that landed in the Hudson River, from Twitter via my cell phone. I have a job interview next week with Cingular because of a Cingular recruiter I met on Twitter.

Yes, I am unashamedly tooting Twitter's horn.

Communication is essential to our everyday lives, and networking is imperative to furthering your career; Twitter combines the two into a successful online service.

Twitter also makes it available to everyone: You, me, your professor, Snoop Dogg, anyone.

So join it, start following, and be sure to add me: @mileless.

Michelle A. Hipps is a telecommunications senior.

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