twitter_map-thumb-550xauto-40993-150x150-5108794When we left for our trip in June2009 Twitter had been around for a little while but it hadn’t really taken off…or at least I didn’t realize the value of it at the time. Since returning I’ve learned much more about how Twitter works and how it can be used as a traveler. I’m no expert by any means but I do think that knowing how Twitter worked would have changed how we traveled. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll share what I’ve learned so that you can put it to use in your own travels!!

What The Heck Is Twitter?

Twitter is a ‘micro-blogging’ site where you can post 140 character bites; that’s about 25 words. Short and sweet…that’s the point. It’s not about long diatribes or novel writing but more about information updates and community building.

It runs on a continual timeline meaning that, unlike a blog, items aren’t organized into categories or pages and, if you aren’t ‘on’ Twitter at a particular time you will miss all that is happening at that particular time. But don’t worry, that’s okay; one of the first things you have to get over is that you might be missing out. Just enjoy what is happening at the time.

It’s confusing…and overwhelming.

The classic Twitter analogy is to compare it to a cocktail party…and I think that’s what scares most people. Who wants to go to a party where you don’t know anyone?  You walk in the room and it seems as though everyone knows everyone else and they are all having a fabulous time.

Well, it’s really more like a party you went to in college; you know, after a couple of beers when you felt a little more social and maybe you did have a friend or two that you could drag along with you.

You might wander around a little at the party; see what’s happening in the other rooms, find the bar and the snack table; you’ll likely stumble upon a group or two that are interesting to you and that will open their circle a bit and let you in on the conversation.

Before long you’re laughing, and chatting, and sharing; making new friends and reconnecting with old ones and you really can’t remember why you were so hesitant to come in the first place!

It’s fun…and interesting.

Just like any party though, it’s better if you do a little prep ahead of time. You know…figure out what to wear; how your going to get there and home; what to drink; should you bring a gift?

It’s not that complicated and, really, you’ll have a good time! So, come along for a bit and let me show you around. I’ll introduce you to some terms and how-to’s; we’ll get some tools to make it easier and find the ‘party within the party’. At the end you’ll realize just how Twitter can make your travels easier too.

So, how about you get yourself a Twitter account so we can start putting the tips to use asap? You can find me at @OneGiantStep…and don’t worry if you don’t even know what that is yet…we’ll cover that next time!