Twitter is the third-largest social networking site in the world, according to Compete.com, and also an example of a micro-blogging service. Updates, called 'tweets', are text of 140 characters or less, which can include links or short statements, posted on the profile of a user (a person or organisation), which other users can 'follow'. Interacting with Twitter (updating or following others' updates) can be done directly on Twitter.com, via SMS, RSS, or through a variety of applications which are available for handheld devices and mobile phones. The brevity of updates on Twitter, coupled with its functionality on handheld devices, has made Twitter very popular for frequent communication (often several times a day) between organisations and their followers, celebrities and their fans, or just between friends.
Features and Differences From Other Social Networks
- Short - updates need to be short and to the point with a limit of 140 characters per post.
- Simple - no picture galleries, embedded objects, added applications. No frills.
- Very mobile - Twitter was designed to be used on the go, so it's easy to post messages and receive updates about one's favourite organisations or people outside of the computer. It can be described as communal SMS.
Ideas for use:
- Let people quickly know about important updates to your YWAM site/blog or YWAM YouTube channel, including links in tweets.
- Link to articles, blogs, videos, pictures, etc. produced by staff or students which cannot be found on your main website. (e.g. tweet: 'Check out latest blog update & pictures from our outreach team in Ireland! (insert link)').
- Link to news stories which could be particularly relevant to your prayer partners.
- Announcing events shortly before they happen. Also mobile tweeting from events or outreaches gives people a taste of what the event or outreach is like - hopefully encouraging them to come in the future!
- Register multiple mobile devices so multiple staff can tweet on the same account.
In all, YWAM ministries or teams can use Twitter (or other social networks) to network all the various content related to them, to promote their ministry, and to communicate with participants and supporters in a way that is quick and easy and doesn't involve an overhaul of the website, an entire blog entry, or coercing your staff to update the YWAM online-media in addition to theirs. Millions check Twitter every day; the same is probably not true for hunting through the interweb for updates to YWAM websites.
YWAM on Twitter
YWAM - International communications (?)
Twitter - main Twitter site
TinyUrl - Turning long URLs into short ones (so as to not eat up all of the 140 characters in Tweets).
bit.ly - Turning long URLs into short ones.