I am a Firefighter. What the Hell is Twitter?

I enjoy reading forums across the fire service websites. I REALLY enjoy reading firefighter blogs. I traverse hundreds of websites a day….it is a problem. Just Kidding.

I see a lot of firefighters and EMT’s ask “What the heck is Twitter”. Or better yet “What the hell is A Twitter”? I have heard firefighters in my own department, in my own station ask what it is. Some of them don’t know what email is…so it is not worth too much of a detailed explanation.

Let me explain what twitter is and why it benefits firefighters and EMT’s.

First of all, Twitter (Twitter.com) is a social networking tool. Users can type whatever the heck they want as long as it is shorter than 140 characters.

I actually run two twitter accounts. You can view the FireCritic twitter page here.

It can really be a tool to get information quick because publishers can put a tweet (message on twitter) in a matter of seconds. They can do it from their computer or phone. Therefore, you can get news as it happens.

Many of the Fire Services best Twitter users can be found here and here. They list the top 50 in the tags “fire” and “firefighting” respectively.

You can interact with publishers, bloggers, and webmasters immediately (provided they are online).

Here is the secret…You don’t actually have to tweet to be a user. Many people sign up with Twitter and follow the users they want to follow but don’t actually type any messages. You can use desktop tools like seesmic, twirl, and Tweetdeck as an interface to organize your users into groups even. Or you can simply follow along on the website.

Is it worth it?

Absolutely. If you are reading this, then I know you enjoy reading fire service related articles. Whether it be Firehouse.com, Firefighternation.com, forums, message boards, or blogs. You can follow all of these sites in one format.

For example: Most fire service websites (including this one) utilize Twitter to syndicate our content. If you follow me, every time I post an article on FireCritic.com it automatically gets posted to twitter. What you will see as on your twitter page is something like this:

Saturday Hotshot – Kannapolis Working Fire http://bit.ly/2Qi9Tx #Fire #Firefighter

FireCritic about 9h ago via twitterfeed

The top line is my title of the blog post followed by a link. The url is shortened by a program and links to my site. The #Fire and #Firefighter are tags. The bottom line is my username, when it was posted, and how (I use Twitterfeed to grab my content and turn it into Tweets).

It has never been easier to follow websites, get content immediately, communicate with publishers, and even speak your mind if you want.

If you have any questions, please let me know!

Otherwise, I would say to sign up on twitter, follow the links above to follow some of the most popular in the Fire/EMS Service, and check it out. If you don’t like it, then don’t worry about it and forget all about it.