Why Twitter? Ways for Beginners to Get Started

Microblogging and job hunting make this list

Twitter
Twitter Inc.

"What is Twitter?" and why should you use it are among the most popular questions the unconverted have about the social networking site. With text messaging, a variety of social networking sites and blog spots, why is Twitter useful?

For one, there are many great business uses for Twitter, like sending out news briefs or advertising the latest job opening. But believe it or not, there are even more personal uses for Twitter.

With this round up, consider the nine that follow.

Microblogging

This one is obvious, but in the rush to put Twitter to other uses, many people forget its first use as a micro-blogging platform. And it is still one of the best uses. It's easy to make a quick tweet telling the world what you are doing, how good your morning coffee tastes or how bad your lunch went.

And it is a great way for friends and family -- even those halfway across the world -- to keep connected to your daily life.

Quick Answers

The idea of crowdsourcing has never been so quick! You can ask all sorts of questions to the Twitter universe, from what is the capital of Alaska to what people think of a particular brand of baby food. And the more friends you have, the more detailed answers you will receive.

There are even Web services set up to take advantage of this feature, so if you don't have many followers, don't worry. You can still get your question answered by simply sending your question to @answers.

Finding a Job

Whether you just got laid off or you are sick of your current job, Twitter can help you get a new job. Not only can you announce to the world that you are looking for employment, but many companies post their job openings on Twitter as well. 

Keeping Up With the News

From newspapers to magazines to TV stations and cable news, it seems everyone is adopting Twitter as the coolest thing since sliced bread.

The coolest part is that Twitter is a great way to keep track of the news.

Want to keep up with the news, but don't want to clutter up Twitter? You can use a Twitter client like ​TweetDeck. And the neat thing about TweetDeck is that it is available for the iPhone too.

Arrange a Lunch with Friends

Twitter can be very useful for arranging a time and place to get together. It's like a conference call with text messaging. So, if you have a regular lunch date with a group of people, or just want to arrange a get-together, Twitter can be a great way to nail down a time and place that works for everyone.

Like following the news, it can be handy to have your friends in their own group if you have a lot of followers.

Letting It Out  

We've all had one of those days, whether it was someone pulling in front of us in traffic or getting served the wrong type of coffee, it is sometimes these little things that can put us in a bad mood for the rest of the day.

The sage advice is to let it out, but to whom? It's not like most places of employment have a handy punching bag, and it's probably not smart to vent to your boss. That's where Twitter can be really helpful because it lets you rage to millions of people.

And you might just get some sympathy tweets out of it too.

Just remember to watch the language.

Keep Up With Your Favorite Team  

Twitter's search feature can be a great way to track trends or keep up with a particular subject. And if you are a fan of sports, it can be a great way to really connect with the team. Not only are many sports players on Twitter, but you have the media and millions of fans to keep you updated on the latest and greatest.

Can't get to a TV when your favorite team is on? Just follow the tweets on Twitter. Not only will you get regular score updates, but you'll get some fun color commentary to go along with it.

Find out What People Really Think about the Latest Movie

Similar to keeping up with your favorite team, you can also use the search feature to check out what the buzz is on the latest release at the theaters. Sure, you could check what the critics have to say, but their opinion isn't always in line with what people actually think of the film.

Twitter can be a great way to find out if the movie is a bomb or a bust, so you don't have to waste your money on a real dud.

Become Involved with Politics

President Barack Obama laid down the blueprint, and politicians are increasingly turning to social media sites like Twitter. Not only is this providing a great way for politicians to get the word out, but it is allowing them to stay connected to their constituents. What better way to tell your senator what you think about a key vote than to send him or her a tweet?

But politics on Twitter goes far beyond just following politicians. The 2009 Iran election crisis showed what a political force Twitter could be, as it not only allowed Iranian citizens to break through the walls Iran hoped to keep up throughout the events, but also let people from around the world show their support by turning their profile pictures green.