Microblogging with Twitter

Guest Post Written by Ujjwal Grower and edited by Vishal

Vishal's intro: Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send updates (text-based posts, up to 140 characters long) to the Twitter website, via short message service, instant messaging, email, or an application such as Twitterrific. Twitter was founded in March 2006 by San Francisco start-up company Obvious Corp.
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The restriction to 140 characters has resulted in Twitter being labelled as “micro-blogging”. A traditional blog is a log of what somebody is up to but in a richer, more detailed format. One of the key aspects of Twitter is to send and receive updates (also called tweets) via your browser, email, instant messaging clients and SMS so you can keep in touch no matter where you are.

How it works :
When you send in a mobile text (SMS), Twitter sends it out to your group of friends and posts it to your Twitter page. Your friends might not have phone alerts turned on so they may check your web page instead. Likewise, you receive your friend's mobile updates on your phone.

Enough from my side. Let's jump into Ujj's post on Twitter for Microblogging.

Twitter is the newest baby in the blogosphere. If I try explaining what you can do with Twitter, you will most certainly feel it's useless, but once you 'twit' for a while, you will get addicted in no time. Twitter is a mix of social networking and internet messaging, we call it microblogging. It is a way to tell your friends what you are doing. To get started you
create an account, start following some people already on Twitter and you are good to go. People who start following you will receive your updates on their Twitter page. So if I am following Amit,

I will receive his latest update - > Amit: skipped breakfast to crunch pointers in the office :(
and he will receive mine -> Ujj: new caterer serving awesome food.. life is good again :)
and so on.
Amit can also reply to Ujj directly -> Amit:@ujj kewl ..enjoy :)

Interested enough. Let me tell you the real power of Twitter. Twitting's most fun when you sync up your Twitter account with your Gtalk and Cell phone. Once you do that you will receive updates as messages from Twitter id from your friend. You can also directly send updates on Gtalk and even via text messages on a cell phone (but that is a little expensive).

Twitter is being used extensively by pro bloggers like Techcrunch, and Tech2 who need to inform their followers about their latest posts. Surprisingly even Bollywood has not ignored Twitter's presence on the web. An account of the recently released Bollywood movie Saawariya was spamming Twitter accounts extensively during the release of the film.

The other huge plus with Twitter is its API which can be used by anyone very easily to create web mashups and write their Twitter bots. One such bot was written by Taggy, men in Blue which would automatically update the Twitter account. You can develop Twitter bots using PHP and Java. More about it here. A detailed tutorial next time.