A lot of you blog, but how many of you Twitter? Twitter is the new SMS with a difference. Your tweets must be limited to 140 characters.
The whole of America and Europe is Twittering, but in India it is yet to catch on. For Twitter to be useful, your friends and contacts have to be on Twitter, through their phone, be it BlackBerry or iPhone or a basic Nokia set. Of course, you can Twitter from your computer too.
So what is Twitter? Twitter is a service for friends, family and office colleagues to communicate and stay connected, through exchange of quick, frequent answers to the simple question: What are you doing?
It may sound ridiculous. Why would you want to waste your time Twittering when you have better things to do? But once you start using it, I am sure you will really like it.
Here is how you get started. All you need is an Internet connection or a mobile phone. Go to www.twitter.com and type your first update into the text box. To get an idea of what other people are saying or doing on Twitter, check http://search.twi-tter.com and see what Twitter is all about. You can search by keyword or just find the trends on whats hot on Twitter right now.
Once you create an account, you can search for people by name or user name, import friends from other networks, or invite friends via e-mail. If you dont want to do that, follow some of the people Twitter suggests. When youve found your friends, follow them to start seeing their tweets.
I, personally, find the service very useful. I often get instant answers to my technical queries along with web links to find more information. I use Twitterrific on my iPhone. With it I can post messages and photos. The best part of it is that when I tweet, my location is immediately communicated to my friends so that they know where to find me.
With Twitter on your phone, you can receive SMSes when people you have specified tweet. You can also send updates to Twitter while you are on the go. If your phone is GPRS enabled just go to m.twitter.com to post your updates. You can do it through SMS too send your tweets to +447624801423, but this is costly. It is much better to go the wap site and post your updates.
If you are using SMS to tweet, you can send a direct message to anyone on Twitter. The procedure is d the username and the message, for example, d hotntaut message.
If you use a GPRS enabled phone, you can find a mobile application like Twitterrific (for iPhones) at http://twitter.pbwiki.com/Apps#Mobileapps. These apps allow you to tweet much more easily, and you can do a lot more. There are a lot of applications, so go through the list carefully and find the one that suits your phone best.
Googles Gears, from gears.google.com, is a powerful plug-in that extends the capabilities of your browser. Gears was designed to be used on both Google and non-Google sites. A number of web applications currently make use of Gears, including three Google products: Gmail, Google Reader and Google Docs. For people who access Picassa web albums on their cell phones, running on Windows Mobile, Gears will be very helpful.
With Gears you do not have to be connected to the Internet. You can work offline and after you finish, connect to the Net and your mails, documents, etc. get sent automatically to the Internet. I find it very useful with Gmail. I compose, read, delete, reply and forward mails offline. Then I connect to the Internet and everything is updated, including new contacts that I may have added while I was offline.
You can even browse some sites offline. When you visit a site thats configured to work with Gears, you should see the message: The website below wants to use Gears. If youd like to allow the use of Gears on this site, simply check the box next to I trust this site. Allow it to use Gears. and click the Allow button.
Give it a try. You will save a lot of money on your Internet connection.
Send in your computer- related problems to firstname.lastname@example.org. The solutions will appear soon.