Just about a year ago, around the time that Twitter was busting out at the South by Southwest conference, Jack Hodgson and I gave a presentation about Twitter at BarCamp Boston 2.

And as much as we were singing Twitter’s praises, we had a hard time explaining, simply, what Twitter actually was. Was it a microblogging tool? A chat room? A site for wasting a lot of time talking about what you’re eating for breakfast?

Well, I have a new video to work into my presentations that should make Twitter dead easy: “Twitter in Plain English,” by Lee LeFever from Common Craft.

Like all of Lee’s videos, “Twitter in Plain English” manages to successfully take the sometimes-scary technological geekiness out of a social networking/social media tool. It’s brilliantly simple.

The only critique I have — and it’s one that’s mentioned in some of the comments to Lee’s post — is that there’s no real mention of using Twitter beyond answering the site’s basic “What are you doing?” question. As anyone who has spent any amount of time on Twitter will tell you, there are many other interesting ways to fill 140 characters. Among them:

  • Asking and answering questions
  • Sharing links
  • Offering social, political, and sports commentary
  • Promoting events and causes

But generally, high marks to Lee for another masterpiece. I hope it helps convince some Twitter skeptics — and yes, there are some of you out there — to come aboard!