Uncommon Uses – Twitter

In a continuation of my series Uncommon Uses (previously Podcasts, wikis and SMS text interfaces) I thought I’d look at Twitter, for such a new simple tool I’m thinking most of the uses are Uncommon Uses. One of the things that made Twitter take off was it’s simplicity and with that simplicity comes the ability for it’s users to mold it into what they want.

  1. Chat – Probably falls under extremely common use, but I had no idea how many people were using it just for chat, even though it acts as a micro blog adding @username at the beginning of your tweet makes sure your comment is directed at an individual. Many people even have targeted tweets sent to their cell phones so it’s actually an incredibly timely chat client. Probably blows away the IM clients that comes on most phones.
  2. Blogging in Africa – soyapi gives the example of Malawi, where there are about 50,000 Internet users against about 700,000 mobile phone users out of a population of about 12 million. Twitter makes an ideal blogging platform
  3. Automated Weather Report – Liminal Existance have whipped up a weather bot that will msg you, just add the bot as a friend for the city your interested in: Boston, Brighton, Chicago, Helsinki, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Singapore, and Vancouver.
  4. Social Music/Audio – TwiTunes Itunes plugin and automatically tweet the podcasts your listening to via Pluggd
  5. Social Shopping – Dealtagger lets you tweet the things your shopping for
  6. Home Automation – Replace your doorbell using twitter via O’Reilly

I think Twitter has some incredibly useful applications which we haven’t even scratched the surface of yet. Rather like blogging was initially used for online diaries, twitter is being used in a rather similar way, hence the leap to call it a useless fad. I think we have yet to discover it’s deeper more valuable use, right now we’re just playing.

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  1. Posted April 3, 2007 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    I have a program that works with musicians, teaching them how to market their music online. One of the uncommon uses for Twitter I’m teaching them is to use is a gig reminder for fans – i.e. “We’re playing tonight at the Grange Hall, 8pm! See ya there,” or “New MP3 at our website,” and include the URL.

    I think it’s an interesting way to keep in touch with your fans, create a group who’ve “opted in” to receive your messages, and reach people on the one device they’re usually near – their cell phones.


  2. Posted April 5, 2007 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Cool post. I work in the not-for-profit field, and see tremendous possibilities for Twitter to play an important role during conventions and tradeshows.

  3. karl long
    Posted April 7, 2007 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Great examples. I like the idea of a way for bands to get quick updates to fans, I wonder if myspace is in the mood for acquisitions?

One Trackback

  • By Twying Twitter « Lines from Lee on April 10, 2007 at 10:58 am

    [...] Twying Twitter I’ve been watching all the chirping about Twitter, those who are addicted and those who hate it. One of the questions I had was how I might practically use it. Lifehacker has some good thoughts, and other related posts are here, here and here. [...]

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