I have been experimenting with the free social networking service Twitter for a number of months now, basically trying to figure out how to best utilize this interesting technology as a real estate tool. If you’re not familiar with Twitter, it’s essentially instant messaging on steroids — you can blast out small updates of up to 160 characters, known as “Tweets”, to whomever happens to be “following” you on Twitter. So instead of sending an IM to one person, Twitter enables you send your latest thoughts to perhaps tens, hundreds, or more of your best friends. Since it’s limited to 160 characters, it’s also cell-phone friendly, so you can send and receive Tweets on your mobile phone.
The problem I’ve always had with Twitter is that it’s a solution looking for a problem. Twitter markets the use of their service with the catch-phrase “What are you doing?” It’s an interesting concept, and many people consequently thought it was critically important to inform the world that they were having dinner at Town, or shopping at Lucky’s, or that they were late for their kid’s soccer game. Well, I’m humble enough to know that NOBODY could possibly care what I’m doing during the course of my day. I even bore myself sometimes.
But recently, I saw how the Mountain View Police Department starting using Twitter as a very effective way to instantly update their community on police incidents and citizen alerts — and the light bulb finally went off in my head on how best to use Twitter.
I often encounter things that are related to our community (or to real estate) that I think would be interesting for you to know — but they don’t necessarily warrant a whole blog article; for example, reminders on holiday events in San Carlos, quick updates on new listings, price reductions, or just forwarding an interesting link from the web. This is where Twitter shines — consider it a “Blog within a Blog.” Or a micro-blog.
“The Very Latest…”
So I have added a new feature to the site called “The Very Latest” in which I use Twitter to forward frequent and (hopefully) interesting info along to you that should complement the information you’ll find on the White Oaks Blog. It will also automatically post any articles that I write on my other two blogs: The Emerald Hills Blog, and the San Francisco Peninsula Blog. “The Very Latest” resides in the upper-left sidebar of the site. Let me know your thoughts on this — I’d love to know how others are using Twitter as well.
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