A Really Clever Use of Twitter

I have been using twitter for a little while.  I started using it for a few reasons. Mainly to see how it works (the dynamics of tweets, conversations, and the social aspects), and what can be done with it for personal and business reasons.

What better way to find out about it than start an account and see what happens?

So, I have posted in a variety of topics, not just business. I have about 120 followers now.

I noticed one really good use of Twitter the other day though, and wanted to share it.

I had recently found out about a friend from school (we were best friends in Primary School, but had drifted into other cliques in High School) who had committed suicide. I sometimes write on this blog about personal things and I decided I would ‘tweet’ this information on my twitter account.

I wrote

Just heard my best friend at primary school and friend through high school committed suicide. Hadn’t kept in touch at all. Still, very sad.

Soon after I had a direct message sent to me from an American association for suicide and prevention, simply offering condolence and hoping that I could offer the family some support.

What a fantastic way to get in touch with people in this situation. I could imagine other twitter users tweeting about many emotional issues, in various emotional states, and having well timed messages from support groups willing to help.

A very clever and effective use of twitter.

Twitter Spam – I Knew It Wouldn’t Take Long

Beware, it has started.

Twitter Spam.

If you haven’t been hit yet, just wait, I am sure it won’t be long. 3 times in 3 days I have been ‘followed’ by someone and after clicking through to their profile (like I do for everyone who Follows me – don’t you?) I am met with something like the image below :

twitter-spam

So how do you not get sucked in by this?

I think it is going to be hard as the spammers get a little smarter.

This one’s account is/was http://twitter.com/BerthaA1975

I can choose not to click on links like that, but how do you know if a twitter account is a spammy time waster or not?

Would you click on these accounts?

I hope you would, as I follow them and they are interesting! But you could be forgiven (knowing about Twitter spam) that they could look suspiciously like generated spam names… (sorry to use you as an example guys!)

Twitter must act quickly on some though as I clicked one the other day and I got a Twitter page suggesting the acount had been closed because of ‘unusual activity’ or something that that effect. But it would be hard to autmoatically monitor properly as many people starting twitter accounts will find a bunch of people to follow straight off the bat (nothing wrong with that), just like these spam accounts are doing.

And, often the links are cloaked using URL shortening services so if the surrounding text is enticing enough how many twitterers are going to throw a curiousity click that way and get infected by some spyware on the resulting landing page?

I hope not too many…