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Twitter is a social networking service that allows you to answer the question “What are you doing?” by sending short text messages of 140 characters or fewer called “tweets” to your friends, colleagues or “followers”.
Interactions on Twitter are faster and you can communicate with anyone you want by simply typing “@ plus their username” on the text area (email addresses are no longer needed!)
Many professionals are now using Twitter to market their businesses, stay informed and network. As I mentioned in this article, translators seem a little reluctant to start using Twitter as a marketing tool to help them grow their businesses (see these ProZ.com poll results from 2009 and 2010). However, the number of translators and language professionals using Twitter is growing. Some blogs and sites have published lists of their favorite language Twitterers (see The Global2Local current top 5 Favorites on Twitter! and Jared’s list of his favorite ones on Twitter for translators?). Even a competition to choose the Top 25 language Twitterers was held in May 2011. The top 25 language twitters are listed here.
To start “hearing” what your colleagues are tweeting about translation and localization make sure you follow tweets with these hashtags: #xl8, #t9n and #L10n.
If you would like to get some tips on what to tweet and some ideas on twitter timing read this useful article on Social Media Tactics for Translators: Twitter by Silvina Jover-Cirillo.
As for myself, my experience with Twitter has been very rewarding so far. I could see for myself that using Twitter for one’s professional career has many benefits as my colleagues had indicated. My tweeting practice has given me the opportunity to meet colleagues, stay informed about translation-related news, articles, webinars, tools, products and features and to be contacted for work opportunities.