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13 Odd Ways to Use Twitter

13 Odd Ways to Use Twitter

Uses for Twitter

There have been countless articles about Twitter and how you can use it for businesses purposes. Perhaps one of the best indications of how successful a particular technology is being adopted is to see the how it’s being used differently from how it was initially intended. Here are a list of 13 odd ways to use Twitter.

Monitor Traffic

You don’t need an eye in the sky when you have your ear to the ground. Commuter Feed lets you post traffic updates in your area. Looking forward to the London version, I wonder how many ways you can say “going nowhere”?

Personal Digital Assitant

How’d you like to have your own assistant? Well, using this guide, you can have your own personal digital assistant on Twitter. Sadly it won’t bring you that latte you wanted(yet).

Games

We have previously covered how Penguin books were using Twitter to create a type of alternate reality game. Ze Frank also came up with the idea for color wars. There is another game on Twitter, where the aim is to send your messages as close to the maximum 140 characters allowed. Perhaps we’ll see a choose your own adventure game one day?

Write a novel

Have you always had a desire to write an epic novel? If you have, then it’s probably better to stick to using a word processor or typewriter. If you fancy writing flash fiction or very short stories, then Twitter is ideal. There are already a few examples of people using Twitter to write fiction. Will we see the next Hemmingway or Raymond Carver appearing on Twitter?

Read books

Have you ever wanted to read James Joyce’s Ulysses 140 characters at a time? Probably not, but this project tweeted an incredible 23,467 times to bring literary culture to the Twitter. There doesn’t seem to be any books being read at the moment, but hopefully the project will start up again (personally I would like to see Don Quixote).

Stalk/ Be Stalked

You haven’t made it until you have your own stalker. Using Mologogo you can let your contacts know your location. As I said to my ex-girlfriend, “it’s not stalking - it’s surveillance”.

Educational

Proving that the Internet can make you smarterer, here is a post that highlights how Twitter can be used in academia. There is also a good round-up of using Twitter in higher education.

Quit smoking

If you’re looking for a way to kick your smoking habit, then Qwitter might be the answer. You keep track of the amount of cigarettes you smoke everyday. You can view trends of your smoking habits over time.
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Get answers

Like Yahoo Answers, you can ask and answer questions from other Twitter users. Mosio could come in handy if ever you’re in a pub quiz with any of my friends.

Fire Alerts

Credit has to go to the Los Angeles Fire Department for trying to reach out to the public using the available technology at their disposal. If you follow their updates you’ll receive regular updates of any fire alerts in the area.

Confess your sins

Are you looking for forgiveness or do you just want to get something off your chest? You can send in your confessions anonymously at Kosso.

Speech

This cool mash-up using Yahoo Pipes will enable your tweets to speak. It uses audio from Expressivo so you can hear your friends tweets.

Water your plants

If you’re a terrible gardener, you can now use Twitter to make sure your plants get enough water. This bizarre set-up will let you know when your plants need water and it will thank you later when you quench it’s thirst.

For more conventional ways to use Twitter, check out this excellent Twitter resource. Here are a couple of other unique uses for Twitter. What else have we missed? Are there any other odd uses of Twitter that deserve a mention? Leave your comments below.

Update: You can also see movie reviews of people on Twitter and track news about google on Twitter.

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45 Readers have left their thoughts

  1. nice list! since you asked, I’m partial to this odd use:
    http://www.googletutor.com/tools/track-google-twitter/

  2. Lizzy

    I can’t imagine readying a book 140 characters at a time will be very enjoyable, but I guess I havent tried. Added to my todo list!

  3. @Google Tutor, thanks for commenting, I’ve updated the article to include your link.

    @Lizzy- I’m not a massive fan of “Ulysses” so wouldn’t have really enjoyed that too much myself. I think short stories could work better on Twitter than long epics. Thanks for commenting.

  4. Robert Washburn

    I have a very odd combination of services that I’ve been using recently.

    I use Jott (phone to e-mail service) with twitter added as a service to send tweets, because I get charged for outgoing texts. I have also synced twitter with facebook using the Twitter sync app within Facebook. So whenever I jott to twitter my twitter peeps know what I’m doing real time as well as my Facebook friends. It’s pretty cool.not a business use but still cool.

  5. Haha wow! I had no idea that it could be used in such real-world ways. I think it’s pretty darn interesting. Thanks for compiling the list. :)

  6. Ron

    Hi,
    Just wanted to let you know that Commuter Feed is indeed available in London: http://www.commuterfeed.com/cities/LHR/

    Thanks!
    Ron

  7. This isn’t a WAR AND PEACE kinda deal. It would take forever and bore the writer as much as the audience. Check out some of the work. I think you’ll find it quite enjoyable.

  8. oh hai!

    so this Personal Digital Assistant… where is it exactly?! :P

  9. zen_jewitch

    CHeck out http:\\www.iwantsandy.com I think that’s what’s being referred to. I use it a LOT.

  10. @Robert Washburn. That does sound like a pretty cool set-up you’ve got there. So you don’t have to pay for outgoing text messages now?

    @abby. Yeah there seems to cool applications coming out for Twitter quite regularly

    @Ron. Thanks didn’t the London section before. Looks really cool. That could really come in handy with the amount of tube delays in London.

    @m1k3y. Added in the link to the Personal Digital Assistant. ;) .

    @zen_jewitch. Thanks, I’ll check that out.

  11. @Robert Washburn Try minggl (www.minggl.com) - It currently syncs facebook, myspace, twitter, digg, linkedin - and will be adding many more social sites soon - i love it cuz I can manage ALL contacts and target them with messages accross social sites/platforms!

    I love twitterberry for my blackberry and I utilize TwitPic to send photos from my blackberry and tweet the links via twitter!

    Another great use for twitter is as a Getting Things Done system - Remember the Milk is a great GTD app that integrates with twitter and there are others too!

  12. soooo many kewl tools… just what I need twitter telling my my plants need watering.. before you know it I’ll be getting messages that my kids need $, my wife needs groceries, work needs a slew or reports, school needs a paper… aaarrgg!…

    no really.. thanks for sharing these tools… i guess i need to get on th twitter band-wagon…

  13. The wheels in my head is turning right now to these ideas.. ^_^ I might make the most out of some of these ways. haha!

  14. Jaclyn Fiorie

    I could absolutely use a an assistant - and now that you mention it, I do aspire to be a *better* gardener! - Jaclyn Fiorie

  15. @Dana - thanks for the recommendation.

    @Golden~eye~. I’m dreading getting messages asking me having to pick up groceries too.

    @Mary Ann - Glad you liked the list. If you find any creative ways to use Twitter, come back here and we’ll add it to the list :)

    @Jaclyn Fiorie - My gardening skills are terrible. Anything technological that can give me green fingers I’ll give the thumbs up.

    Thanks for all your comments and if you find any other Twitter tools that are unusual, please feel free to comment and I’ll update the list.

  16. Very nice article. It is great for people to expand once they get used to Twitter as a concept. Everything can be used in more ways that we can imagine by ourselves.

    Take Care,

    Dr. Sally

    www.drsallywitt.com

  17. I may not be writing my great American novel on Twitter, as you suggested. But I am transcribing the great Russian novel ‘War & Peace’.

    I decided to transcribe the book, the benchmark of literary length in my mind, on the tiniest microblogging platform out there.

    Thus, Leo Tolstoy’s ‘War & Peace’ transcribed one sentence at a time onto Twitter;

    http://www.twitter.com/warandpeace

    At my current posting rate, I should be done in 15-20 years. I;m almost at Chapter 2!

  18. Nikki

    I’ve started a fiction account at twitter @mylifein140. Follow the sixteen-year-old character as she learns, real time, that she can manipulate the world around her!

  19. Nice article. Twitter is a great platform for sharing commuter information. I developed one last year for a client - http://njtwatch.com/ - and he’s had a great response to it.

  20. Well, I suppose the 500+ people who have, thus far, taken part in the daily Twitterhood Quiz will understand that there is no place in articles such as these for what is really going on around Twitter.

    After all, gurus are not what they used to be and cannot be expected to see all, in spite of having such sophisticated technology to hand :-)

    At 22:00 UST every day, I ask 5 questions in the public tweet stream and others give prizes to the accumulators of points gained by answering them. Details and the scoreboard are at: http://linnetwoods.com/twitterhood_quiz.html

    Feel free to join in yourself and see whether you can imagine how any twitter guide that mentioned games could leave it out! :-)

    Incidentally I strive to make all of my posts 140 characters in length - the craft involved in writing content to such a parameter is half the attraction for me - but I had no idea there was an official game involving this skill, so touché! :-)

  21. Although minggl looks interesting, check out posterous.com - email to your blog and SN aps from anywhere and most devices.

  22. Is this the age of Twitter? Guess so. Funny post yet with hidden resourceful links. Thanks alot. Haven’t use Twitter to notify me on watering plants yet, I hope not until that level. ^^

    @wchingya
    Social Media/Blogging

  23. WVP

    I thought the Commuter Feed might’ve been interesting although a quick browse of the site shows no updates in over a week and in my area (Phoenix) none in over 9 months. Sounded like a good concept that fell wayside along with a lot of other good concepts. Too bad too, traffic in the Valley SUCKS!

  24. I don’t really like when thinks are used not for what were they built to be done.. it’s not practical..

  25. mark r

    This isn’t a tool (unless you’re lonely and need to converse with a fictional Sarah Palin), but, I see how it’s going to be expanded to fulfill a massive range of needs:

    http://twitter.com/saruhAI

    If you @saruhAI a Tweet, you begin a long conversation, with replies back in under 2 minutes. Here’s the thing, on the replies that are unscripted, you can use this as a Tip Calculator, square root calculator or even source Wikipedia and get links.

    This is a combination of conversational Artificial Intelligence and interactive writing. The company says it will be used for ‘branded conversations’ whatever that means.

  1. Twitter « My Blog Empire - Oct 10th, 2008


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