The Art of Twitter (and there is an art to it!)

The use of Twitter is exploding.

First off, I have to say how awesome it is to have a class in which we learn about Twitter and how to use it effectively. Did you know that there is a strategy and even traditions pertaining to the social networking site?

I’ll back up a little bit. Before mid-summer, I had no idea how Twitter worked. I thought I did. The explanation I had heard was a poignant one: “It’s like Facebook with only status updates.” This seemed less than thrilling. I already had a Facebook account. Why add something new? This part of my story seems to mirror Alana’s, who shares some well-thought-out ideas on Twitter herself. Did anyone else have the same thought?

However, when I was accepted into the Creative Communications program,  I signed up for Twitter. I had to know what was up before school started. They even had “How many characters is allowed in a tweet?” as one of the questions for the entry exam! Twitter must be a bitter deal than I had realized.

So I signed up, sent a couple messages, hit the “follow” button for a bunch of people who looked interesting, and there I was. On Twitter. Tweeting, even.

But there is so much more.

In class, I am quickly discovering that Twitter is far from just being a collection of statuses. Rather, it is a medium for professionals of all kinds to concisely share all kinds of thoughts and advice and other valuable information.

Please be advised, though, that the ‘concise’ portion is crucial, because  Twitter only allows 140 characters in per tweet. That’s not very much. Because of this limitation, users must condense their information and present it so it appeals to others without taking up much space. This creates a kind of ‘art’ in itself. Users must learn to pass on information, ask questions, provide information for people – and do it all in a very short space.

Got that down?

Once you figure that part out, there’s a whole new world of strategy. You can find contacts based on shared interests, and make some serious progress in your professional development. There’s a whole lot that can be done with this. For more details, check out Melanie’s blog post. She has some great things to say about Twitter in the professional sphere, as well as some more links if you really want to do your homework.

Before you start reading, though, I want to show you this chart. It’s an awesome visual I found online that shows off the many uses for Twitter. (Click to expand.)

Twitter can be useful for individuals, businesses, and more.

Still think it’s just a bunch of Facebook statuses? Now, if you’d like, head on over to @jmgfriesen and @artofwinnipeg

Images from:


About Jenna Marie

Jenna is a communications student from Winnipeg, Manitoba. She's almost finished studying at Red River College and looking forward to whatever's coming next.
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3 Responses to The Art of Twitter (and there is an art to it!)

    • Hmm. That’s a tough question. I’d say it can be. Maybe the “I just ate a sandwich” posts wouldn’t be …
      There’s certainly an art TO Twitter. Learning the strategic use for it definitely instilled in me more respect for its power.
      And whether or not a person agrees that Twitter is art in itself, I would imagine it hard to argue that it is used to promote art: events, shows, links to articles, etc. It is certainly a valuable tool to artists, whether or not one considers it to be art in itself.
      What do you think, Duncan?

  1. I’m with you on the point that there is an art to Twitter — just as there is an art to just about everything. In your example, tweeting “I just ate a sandwich” is not particularly artful because it does not maximize the potential of this medium.

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