Twitter is a real-time information network powered by people all around the world that lets you share and discover what’s happening now.
Twitter asks “what’s happening” and makes the answer spread across the globe to millions, immediately.
[...] Twitter can give a voice to even the weakest signals because of its simplicity. Users can access Twitter on powerful broadband connections via a video game console or through faint connections in rural areas via SMS on a simple mobile phone. You can also access Twitter through more than 50,000 third-party Internet and mobile applications.
Unfortunately, Twitter is proprietary. But how you use Twitter is completely up to you. You can follow hundreds of people or a few. Search for your favorite topics and create lists. Or not. You are in control on Twitter.
There are several Twitter clients for all tastes. I have picked three choices for the permanent hacker who is mostly online with a big box (Netbook upwards).
Twitter Web Portal
The easy way to start using Twitter is the Twitter web portal. It provides for all required features as searching, updating your status, following other Tweets, re-Tweeting and so on. Authentications goes through https so that your password should be fairly secure.
Gwibber is an open source microblogging client for GNOME developed with Python and GTK. Gwibber trunk series is the current focus of development. It supports Twitter, Jaiku, Identi.ca, Facebook, Digg, and more. Gwibber is available directly from Universe in Ubuntu Jaunty onwards and really simple to use:
# sudo apt-get install gwibber
With me it sometimes hung with frequent network changes (when switching G3 / UMTS connections on a train) but all in all it worked fine.
I found out this one when I stopped over in a hotel that had WiFi but only for port 80. Then one cannot authenticate with the twitter.com website as it uses HTTP Secure on port 443. It is straight forward but beware that your password gets sent over the wire unencrypted.
curl -u yourusername:yourpassword -d status="Your Message Here" http://twitter.com/statuses/update.xml
If you use strong passwords with special characters you might need to put the "yourpassword" in quotes.