So I know that I made a previous post about Twitter, but it was about a guide I found called Twitter Jump Start.
To back up a step, Twitter is a social networking site that allows you to stay in touch with others by updating your answer to the following question: What are you doing?
Now, if you are anything like me you are saying to yourself, “Self, I have very little interest in staying in touch with people ad nauseum. I do not need to know that my friend from college is drinking coffee or that a colleague is at the mall.” I hear ya. But consider that Twitter has other applications, as well.
The messages that get sent are called Tweets. When you send a tweet you can choose whether it is private (only viewed by your Followers) or public (can be viewed by anyone with a Twitter account). So one application is you can see what people are talking about by viewing popular tweets. You can also search by word or subject to see what people are saying about a particular topic.
All tweets must be 140 characters or less, forcing you to learn how to convey your thoughts and views concisely and, at times, creatively. Also, you don’t HAVE to use your phone to receive tweets, you can choose instead to create an account and only view and send tweets using the internet.
For non-profits, a couple of things to consider. First, Twitter could be seriously useful in a disaster situation in terms of mobilizing volunteers (if the site is still up and mobile phones are working).
Second, many Americans have computers, but there are some that do not. Even more Americans have – you guessed it – mobile phones capable of receiving text messages. Sure, someone without a computer would still need to activate an account on a public computer at a library, but if they choose to do so (and if they have unlimited messaging), Twitter is one more way for you to keep in touch with constituents without computers.