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Last week, we discussed The Twittering Class of journalists, pundits, politicians and celebrities. Many of our very own Daily Kos editors are now exploring and mixing it up on Twitter. You can now find:

@markosmoulitsas
@joanmccarter
@SAndrewDKos (DarkSyde)
@DemFromCT
@HunterDK
@plutoniumpage
@captain_tenille (ct)
@jakemcintyre (TrapperJohn)
@KagroX (David Waldman)
@Devilstower
@BarbinMD (Barbara Morrill)
@jedlewison
@LauraClawson
@arjunjaikumar

The Daily Kos editors and Kossacks who are new to Twitter aren't alone. A recent Nielsen survey shows Twitter has had a 1382% growth rate in the past year, making it the fastest growing social networking site. Last week I noted Shaquille O'Neal was approaching 312,000 "followers" -- today he will top 375,000. The growth is astonishing. And with the ability to embed Twitter into blogs and other social networking apps like Facebook, the explosive growth will continue into the foreseeable future.

Describing Twitter is not easy, so I wanted to point to a few other explanations. Kossack bumblebums explored Twitter this week and described it as "a perpetual, vast, multi-dimensional Open Thread." I think of it as liveblogging on steroids. Perhaps the best explanation of Twitter comes from CEO Evan Williams (addressing TED conference):

Whether it is Atlanta gas prices, the plane landing in the Hudson river, or a damaging earthquake half way around the world, news is truly breaking on Twitter from everyday users liveblogging from their cell phones and laptops. Recently, Sean "Diddy" Combs launched his own "P.Twitty TV" using the live video service Ustream.tv Curious, I clicked on it and found Diddy live from a club in NYC. He was in the DJ booth, the crowd was bouncing to the music, drinks were flowing, and he was responding live on Twitter - complete with an IT guy in his entourage. What does this have to do with Daily Kos? Politics? News? It's all about the technology. Imagine everyday people breaking their own live news stories. Or campaign speeches, rallies, protests, interviews, conventions, etc, all being liveblogged with streaming video. No camera crew, no satellite truck. Just straight up live news being told from the user perspective. The possibilities are endless for the combination of these technologies and it will be exciting to see their applications unfold.

For those who want to remain Twitter-free, that is certainly your prerogative. I'm not advocating for anyone to join, just pointing out the growing implications of it all for those who are interested.

And on that note, given the number of Daily Kos newbies to Twitter, I asked Kossacks for tips to get started. Here are some of their suggestions:

@Pat120 forwarded an excellent article by Harry McCracken, What I Know About Twitter with some tips to getting started.

@subbob suggested using the Custom Alias feature at tinyurl.com to shorten links and still keep them meaningful to the reader.

@comoprozak sugguested using Qwitter to find out when someone quits following you. http://useqwitter.com/

@cln0103 said: Tiny Twitter is great for Blackberry! Tweetdeck is cool but eats up virtual mem on computer.

@marcslove wanted to remind Kossacks to use the #dkos hash tags when talking all things Daily Kos.

Another great thing about the Twitter community...if you don't know, just ask. Someone will be along to help.

If you have twips or tweets that you want to share, hit me up at tweetscout@gmail.com, @Scout_Finch, or drop them in the comments section below.

Daily Kos and Congress Matters RSS feeds are available at available at @dailykos, @dailykostv, and @congressmatters.

Update: If you are going to be in the San Francisco area next month and would like more info on social networking tools and applications, check out the Netroots Nation Bay Area New Media Summit + Celebration.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 02:04 PM PDT.

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