For many people, the word “twitter” brings to mind birds rather than humans. But information professionals know that Twitter (www.twitter.com) is a fast-growing, free messaging service for people, and it’s one that libraries (and librarians) can make good use of—without spending much time or effort.
Twitter lets people send and receive short messages (called Tweets) via the web or via SMS using a mobile phone. Messages on Twitter are limited to a maximum of 140 characters, including spaces, and they’re generally public. Because each message is just a sentence or two, a carefully crafted post can convey a good deal of information without taking a lot of time to read or write. In addition, because Twitter has millions of users, it’s a good place to find and connect with people interested in your institution and your areas of expertise.
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Sarah Milstein (email@example.com; http://twitter.com/sarahm) is a co-author of “Twitter and the Micromessaging Revolution,” a research report from O’Reilly Media. Her webcast on “Twitter for Business” is available at O’Reilly TV on YouTube (www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUR2E8l3bi8).