Big Bloggers Finding New Ways to Use Twitter's 140 Character Rule

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Last few weeks have been big for Twitter as A-List bloggers get on board with new ways to increase readership and make money online

Twitter isn't what it used to be. Originally the social networking site was intended to tell friends what you were doing in real-time, but recent events in the blogging world show that big bloggers are just getting started with ideas for how to use the microblogging platform to gain new readers, promote their offerings, and make more money through online business.

Darren Rowse of ProBlogger, the Internet's most popular blog about blogging, was one of Twitter's first A-list evangelists. He asked his following -- through Twitter, of course -- to reply with the reasons they love the popular social network. More than 100 people responded in the first two hours, and he compiled the answers in a YouTube video which has been watched thousands of times.

Their responses varied widely, but the level of enthusiasm remained the same:
"Twitter reminds me that, even though I can't see them, there are people on the other side of my screen."
"Because it makes me feel as if I'm in the midst of the tech world when I'm really in Alliston, AL."
"I love Twitter because the ratio of selfless people doing things for other people is so high. This is just a great community."
"It's like RSS on steroids and decidedly more personal."

Crystal Clayton runs Big Bright Bulb, a website and business consulting service for microbusiness owners. A major Twitter devotee, she found a way to incorporate Twitter into her business model by offering a new service called business microconsulting via Twitter. Users ask a business related question and she responds with miniature consulting advice -- in exactly 140 characters.

"Serious business questions require serious answers but not necessarily long ones. Think of this as an executive summary's executive summary," says Clayton, a Washington DC area native. She calls the service drive-thru advice, and the timing is perfect for this new Twitter obsessed online generation. "Microbusiness owners often can't afford to pay for hourly consulting, and frankly, they often don't need it. This gives them an espresso shot of targeted advice, delivering only what they need and only when they need it."

Brian Clark of the Technorati Top 100 blog Copyblogger is another A-list Twitter fan. He recently held a contest on his website for Twitter story writing. The challenge he set for his readers was a simple one -- tell a story in exactly 140 characters. His contest received over 300 entries and the viral nature of the contest drew dozens of sponsors. The winning entry was written by Ron Gould, a flower shop owner from Fort Bend County, Texas.

"'Time travel works!' the note read. 'However you can only travel to the past and one-way.' I recognized my own handwriting and felt a chill."

It turns out you can say a lot in 140 characters.

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