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More Than An Endless Stream of Noise: Twitter and TwitPic

This post is part of a series on Using Technology to Further Relationships in Youth Ministry.

So, apparently the latest, greatest thing to hit the Internet is a little thing called Twitter. Have you heard of it?

What is Twitter?
Even if you've heard of it, you may still be unsure just what Twitter is. Maybe this video would help:

Yeah, it seems to have reached a tipping point in the past few months. Honestly, I'm still skeptical. Right now I'm not convinced this is super-duper useful, but it's definitely gained popularity with certain groups of people. I did have one really successful experiment with Twitter that is totally worth telling about.

How I've used Twitter as a tool for ministry
Before our summer mission trip, I set up my five most recent Twitter updates to show up on our church website. I gave parents a little card before we left with some trip contact information and a few other typical last minute notes. The card also told parents they could follow our trip from the church website. While we were on the trip, I sent updates to Twitter. (This is called "tweeting", but I still can't jump onboard with the insider language.)

Twitter updates on Church Website

Anyway, it was as simple as sending a text message from my phone to my Twitter profile. I wrote about my Twitter experiment shortly after we returned from the trip.

Pictures by TwitPic
One other piece of the Twitter experience that I'll recommend is TwitPic. Basically, TwitPic allows users to post pictures to their Twitter feed. I set it up so that I can snap a picture on my cellphone, send it to my TwitPic account just like an SMS/MMS (text message), and it will show up on my Twitter page. Well, actually the picture doesn't show up, but it does show up as a link to the picture.

Also, there are many other web applications that do basically this same thing, such as TweetPhoto, Pikchur, and yfrog.

If people in your little corner of the world are Twitterers... or Twitters... Tweeters... on Twitter... maybe now you'll be a little more equipped to use this tool to better connect with students or parents in your ministry.

And if you're interested, here is where I twitter.

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