More than any other question lately, I am answering “What is Twitter?” and “Why should I use Twitter?” At least once a day. For something so simple, it’s not easy to explain.
Many of us turn to analogies to explain it, so I decided to start collecting useful Twitter analogies here. Please add to the list.
(Most analogies I’ve collected are in general usage but a few should be credited.)
Twitter Is Like…
- “a virtual information booth” – Morgan Johnston (@JetBlue)
- a way to plug in to a universal brain
- a search engine for tracking instantaneous conversations
- “a multipurpose communication machine” – Christi Day (@SouthwestAir)
- a giant public chat room
- a combination of chatting and blogging
- networking on steroids
- a party you can drop in on 24/7
- “a phone party line from the 1950s” – Morriss Partee (@mmpartee)
- a CB radio (or perhaps a CB is “Twitter for truckers”)
- email 2.0
- a user-defined network
- a democratic communication tool
- a roller coaster ride
Twitter is like swimming. Impossible to explain, you just have to jump in and try it.
—Alex de Carvalho (@alexdc)
It’s Up to You
I especially agree with Twitter being “a user-defined network” because the definition of it depends on how you use it and that will undoubtedly evolve over time. (Hmm, evolve is probably the wrong word for the fast-paced Twitterverse. You might find new uses for it every day.)
How do you define Twitter? I hope you’ll leave more analogies in the comments box below.