Whether you use Twitter to make readers aware of a new blog post, or use the popular messaging service to keep clients abreast of pending application downtime, the efficacy in which you communicate with your followers will largely hinge on the timeliness of your update. Of course, as with most computing tasks, leaving time-sensitive matters to the human factor will likely result in late updates, and inevitably to altogether omitted updates.
Therefore, to ensure that your Twitter updates are made in lockstep with the associated event, it makes sense to integrate the update process into the larger workflow. For instance, you might create a Web interface that allows system administrators to schedule downtime, resulting in both the corporate blog and Twitter accounts being updated with the information. By eliminating the additional steps of opening a Twitter client and logging into the website administration console, you'll guarantee a timely update.
If you're using the Zend Framework for web application development, then it's trivial to integrate Twitter account updates into your site workflow thanks to the native
Zend_Service_Twitter component. This component allows you not only to post updates to a specific account, but also to retrieve timelines, send direct messages, and perform administrative tasks such as manage followers and block users. In this six-minute screencast, Jason Gilmore introduces you to this great component, showing you how to carry out several of these tasks.