Twitter for Local Purposes

July 9, 2008 § 1 Comment

I’ve always viewed Twitter as a bit of an unnecessary e-indulgence… who’s really that interested in what I’m doing? I likened it to getting stuck sitting next to the gabby guy on a cross-country flight, the one who shares more details about himself with you than you care to hear. Or (sorry, this is a little gross), Twitter kinda seemed like a warm spot in the pool… welcoming and agreeable at first but quickly becoming disconcertingly intimate.

Anyway, Twitter is receiving so much attention these days, that I decided to set up an account. I haven’t posted anything yet (I’m cflyons), but I’m starting to understand what all the buzz is about. It’s addictive and more insightful than I thought it would be.

My main motivation in setting up an account was to check out Twitter Local — a cool app that you can use to identify local Twitterers. Type in your zip code and you can see who is Twittering near you. I was surprised to see some familiar local people Twittering where I live in Buffalo, NY. [For kinda the opposite of Twitter Local, check out TwitterVision to see who is Twittering around the globe.]

Another app worth a look is Summize which is a Twitter search tool that allows you to search by keyword and also by location. The twits I see for my location vary significantly between Summize and T-Local, so I’m not really sure which is better.

So, set up an account and see who in you community is active on Twitter. You will learn about what people in your community are doing and are interested in. You don’t have to post anything, but if you’re so inclined you can also make your presence known to the community on Twitter.

There’s plenty of drivel on Twitter, but there’s also useful info that can provide you with insight on your community. Check out how this fire department in California is using it to help stay in tune with it’s surroundings.

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