Twitter. What is it? Why should I care?

by sbh on Friday - 11 January 2008

in Reviews

Friday is supposed to be my day to recharge in terms of writing. So, because I may not have anything else to blog about, I’m inundating this blog with cool stuff I’m playing with. Right now, I’m messing around with Twitter.


Frequently Asked Twitter Question #1: “What Is It?”

Great question! Couldn’t tell ya.

Twitter is what you make of it. Some people might call it a mini-blog, and use it as such. Posting simple 140 character or less posts at a far more rapid rate than one might for a real blog post. Then again, some might refer to it as extended instant messaging. These folks would use it to hold extended conversations across space and time. For others, it’s merely a way of sharing or publicizing snippets: links to youtube videos, web sites, photos, etc.

I’d say the strengths of Twitter are twofold.

First, it simply can’t be crammed into a little box. It becomes whatever you need it to become. Because of this, it chameleons around, remaining on its users’ radars, but not dominating their time and energy.

Second, it can be updated from just about anywhere. By inegrating with GTalk and being available via SMS (as well as blogs, email, Facebook, etc. if you use third-party apps), you can tweet (that’s the word they use) from just about anywhere in the world. See something strange on the street? Text it to Twitter. Want your Twitter and Facebook status to sync up? No problem.

Instantly accessible, and somewhat undefinable: Twitter is what it is.

Frequently Asked Twitter Question #2: “Why Should I Care?”

The most common objection to Twitter usage is the “Why should I care?” defense. I know all about it; I’ve used it. Like Paul, and Anakin Skywalker for that matter, I have come from the dark side. “Who gives a rat’s patootie what Trixie ate breakfast?”

Well, you might not. Trixie might be the furthest thing from your mind.

Other people might be closer to your mind, however. Twitter offers tiny glimpses into the lives others. In a country (I’m speaking of America here, because that’s where I live) dominated by a pop culture which has now become inundated with reality programming, another piece of voyeurism is certainly welcome.

For me, I always enjoy reading people’s Facebook status. What I don’t enjoy is sitting around surfing Facebook endlessly. I just don’t have the time to spend on that (I probably do, but I don’t want to spend it like that). Twitter can fill this void. I get to know what’s going on in people’s lives without becoming too engrossed, without falling into the trap of the Facebook (crack) addicted mummy.

Concluding Thoughts: “What To Do With Twitter?”

Whatever you want.

Because I’m in the tech industry by day, working from home, and a writer by night, I spend 12–14 hours of my day in front of this very computer. For almost all of that time, I have Adium open. It is now becoming second nature for me to send a message to Twitter via Adium every few hours. Why not? Someone might be watching. A conversation might be struck up. Information might be exchanged. A laugh. A smile. Whatever.

It’s on my blog. Look in the sidebar on the main index.

It’s synced to my Facebook status for all of my crack (Facebook) addicted friends.

That’s what I do with it.

What do you do with it?

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