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Simple, fun, useful: why architects should be on Twitter

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I’m not really a Twitter evangelist, says AJ editor Kieran Long. In some ways, this microblogging, gossipy platform is a distraction occupying yet more precious minutes of the time I have to do my job

But Twitter is now the best networking aid I use, and is damn entertaining to boot.

Its reputation is as a place where people inform a uninterested public about the goings on of their lives. As I write this, a tweet arrived describing someone’s love of the smell of freshly mown grass. But really Twitter is a generous community, full of architects, developers and other allied professionals. Just before the grass tweet, I received one from an architect talking about three potential clients he just met, a sign for him of economic recovery. Arup’s Peter Head is there making blue-sky pronouncements.

Also, if you’re a news junkie, things now get talked about fastest on Twitter. I had seen pictures and video of the Koolhaas fire in Beijing before many people had heard about it, for instance. And it’s great for events. At Mipim last week, Twitter users were aware of the buzz – people reporting on everything from what they were learning about the state of the market to where the best parties were.

One major reason for my own conversion to Twitter is its simplicity. You only have to write a couple of sentences a day and you can be part of the fastest growing social network on the web. It’s less hassle that Facebook, and less corporate than Linked In. It’s a blank canvas. To get the best out of it, try Twitter clients like Twitterfox (if you use the Firefox browser) or Tweetdeck.

Remember, following someone is not like making a commitment to read their every thought. You can graze it at your leisure, dip into the conversation when appropriate and hopefully find stuff of interest and utility. Give it a try – and get in touch! I’m Twitterable on @kieranlong.

My favourite twitterers:

@architectsjrnal – News and views from the AJ
@archispeak – Hugh Pearman, Sunday Times architecture critic
@anothersam – AJ columnist and FAT partner
@pevstweet – nice and random tweets about beautiful buildings
@tombloxhammbe – Urban Splash chairman and new twitterer
@ianmartin – needs no introduction
@Armandoiannucci – brilliant musings from a funny man
@towerbridge – weirdly restful comings and goings on the Thames

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