I just ran across the most comprehensive list of Twitter resources and other Twitter advice here: Twitter Tools, Tweaks, and Theories, by John Unger. So far I'm only using Twhirl and the Twitter Tools WordPress plugin, as well as TwitterBerry for my BlackBerry. But Unger exposes me to about two dozen more Twitter tools.
Unger also lists some of his favorite uses for Twitter:
Note to Self: Twitter has become the quickest and easiest way to keep track of stray thoughts I want to hold on to.
Breaking news: I'm finding it more difficult to stay on top of my RSS feeds these days. But a lot of the people I follow in Twitter drop links to the most interesting stories of the day. Also, some of the blogs that generate way to much content to allow into my RSS can be found on Twitter, allowing me to easily scan the headlines and choose whether to follow links (@BoingBoing for example).
Communication: I've never liked IM or SMS and I don't think I ever will. But the @reply and DM (direct message) features in Twitter work really well for me. Because I've got a Twitter client open all day, I can send quick messages to most of my contacts without feeling as interrupted or getting dragged into a long back and forth over IM. A direct message on Twitter is WAY more likely to get my immediate attention than email or phone right now… especially because by nature, it's required to be short and to the point.
Advice, Support, Polling, Questions: More and more, I see people using Twitter as a way to fire off a quick question and get answers back from people in their network. This is way more useful than I would have expected at first. Everything from tech support, research questions, vetting new ideas, where to eat in a new town and so on. When I want a quick answer, sending out a twitter question is a great way to get one.
You can follow me on Twitter here. Basically, Twitter is like a global, mobile IM client with all your friends added. You don't have to use it to describe the mundane activities you're doing all day. You can use it like IM.
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I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include technical writing, authoring and publishing tools, API documentation, tech comm trends, visual communication, technical writing career advice, information architecture and findability, developer documentation, and more. If you're a professional or aspiring technical writer, be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here.