Twitter is a free service that allows users to write 140-character entries, or 'tweets' that are then displayed on a user's Twitter page and to those who opt to 'follow' their tweets.

The brevity of Twitter is especially valuable for those who are part of a global community of professionals.

The countless tools and applications allow for many uses, but one common application of Twitter is to update 'followers' of latest events at symposiums and conferences - in virtual real time - and to share breaking news that will be of interest to others.

For an example of an effective use of Twitter in the medical profession, see the E-Cancer Journal's tweets to update oncology professionals around the globe with research information, funding opportunities and so on.

You can follow the sectors and news which are most important to you, and interact with other users: Twitter is of most value as a conversation (talking to, rather than at, other users - an important point we will be blogging about in more detail at a later date).

One word of caution; you really need to devote time, if not daily, then certainly every couple of days to this; it's of limited value if you can't as you won't be able to respond and therefore engage with people to the same degree.


Continue to Guide to Business Uses for Social Media Part 7: Plaxo