twitterAre you sick of hearing about Twitter yet? If not, you soon will be.

I’m hearing more and more about it and I suspect it’ll be the Next Big Thing in the social networking space.

If you’re not familiar with it, let me try to explain:

It’s like a big chatroom. But you can only see messages from people you choose to (choosing to see someones messages is called “following” them).

So the logic follows that only people that are following you will see your comments – or “Tweets” as they’re referred to.

Each comment, or tweet, is limited to 140 characters.

If you’re following Joe, and Joe is following Bob (but you’re not following Bob) then if Bob and Joe have a conversation you’ll only see Joes half of it.

You can see who each person is following and who they’re being followed by.

That’s pretty much it. It all sounds a bit underwhelming, I know. I don’t think I’ve yet heard someone describe Twitter in a way that makes it sound instantly appealing.

I guess the old “What’s in it for me?” filter kicks in.

So, two examples of how it’s been a great tool for me in the past few days.

I follow Dennis Howlett from Accmanpro. He follows me (plus another 1250+ people!). So when he made some passing light-hearted comment about everyone suing everyone to someone else on his following list, I chipped in that Sage had complained about us to Trading Standards. He asked for more info which then resulted in this piece on his blog. Great stuff.

Earlier today we put out our latest press release. The instant it went live on the site, I posted a link to it on Twitter (this can be automated using various tools). Within less than an hour the press release had been written up into a nice article on LaunchLab.

One of the people who told me I really need to get on Twitter was our PR Guy. Sorry Richard, but it looks like you could be talking yourself out of a job. Why pay a PR firm wedges of cash every month when you get direct access to journalists via Twitter? I bet the journalists would rather hear direct from the entrepreneurs than from a middleman too.

You’ll find interesting people to follow quickly enough. If you follow just one person of interest, you’ll start seeing their half of conversations with others. You can click through to see who they’re talking to, and if the person looks interesting then you follow them too. And so on.

Outside of the world of business there are other noteworthy people you can follow on Twitter. Including Stephen Fry and Jonathan Ross.

One of the reasons I’m convinced Twitter will become a big success is because that have a free API (so do we!) and there are countless third-party applications around  for it.

So that’s Twitter. Go register and join in. Be careful though, it can get very distracting!

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