I was on my iMac this afternoon looking at our Twitter09 class blog and our family friend who was visiting asked me “so tell me what’s twitter?” Everytime I get this question (which I’ve gotten a lot this past week), I am caused to pause and describe this tool as succinctly as I can. Can I explain Twitter in 140 characters? I supposed I could use the standard “Twitter is a free social messaging utility for staying connected in real-time” from Twitter’s website, but does that reall makes sense to everyone? I’m pretty sure I won’t get new Twitter converts by giving people that definition. After all, who feels like they really need to stay connected with folks real-time? Instead, I end up pitching the idea that you can build networks with Twitter, and meet people in your field or who share the same work and social interests. I like to say that it removes one more wall in communication. Think of a public figure who you’re intersted in meeting, for example. From the time it takes you to track down their assistant or email and get a response about meeting up for coffee, you could have been following them on Twitter, sent some DMs and @’s and really garnered their interest in the issues and ideas that you have to offer. Before you know it, they’ve offered to meet up for coffee to further discuss your ideas. Twitter and other social media networks give you some level of confidence that I don’t think can be taught in the same way you learn when you use virtual means of communication. Right?