The Twitter service has slowly grown on me in the last year or so. At first, I didn’t see what all the hype was about. I hate text messages with a passion (heck, it took me years to even warm up to the concept of cell phones). Then, I started using the service to promote articles from the newspaper I was working at in early 2007. Eventually, I even came to love the service for uses beyond marketing, mainly as a way to keep up with my favorite blogs and news sites that was superios to RSS. I still don’t receive my Twitter alerts as text messages, but I do receive them in Firefox via TwitterFox and on my Ipod Touch when I load Twitterific. I find these methods less intrusive than text messages, although if I upgrade to an iPhone this year, I could see setting up a separate Twitter account following far fewer contacts and enabling the text message alert feature of the service.
The simple fact is, more and more people are jumping on the Twitter bandwagon these days, and it’s become one of the main tools for sharing links, status updates, and other small bits of information with friends and colleagues. This is called micro-blogging, and it’s a lot easier to keep up with than writing traditional blog posts like this one on a regular basis. However, when we do manage to make a blog post, we want to keep track of who is sharing it, correct? This used to be done by trackbacks but as more people are sharing links via Twitter than their own websites, it’s created the need for a new service, TweetBacks. Dan Zarella, a social and viral marketing scientist, has invented this service and a useful new WordPress plug-in that takes advantage of it, which I’ve enabled here on my blog. It will be interesting to see if I get any TweetBacks in the coming months.