My first encounter with Twitter was when I was still a co-host at the Global Geek Podcast. This small time microblogging
application was, back then, nothing more the a promising start up
without a business model to support it. Twitter was one of these fabs
that seamed to overwhelm / overtake peoples minds who would constantly
babble about what they where twittering about. Hearing Leo Laporte
on TWIT commenting on what he was twittering (and what his co-host
across the table was twittering) screamed beyond my limits of
toleration’s like a bat out of hell. This seemingly pointless "heyhey look at me !!"-blogging proved to be the final straw in my un–subscribtion from the whole TWIT podcast.
But twitter endured and over the course of the next months I was continualy confronted with "twitter" and "twitter whoes" on the GGP (and other podcasts) With a missing business model and a growing amount of users the Twitter servers went on the blink and the whole interweb
was up in arms. And for what ? At the current time I was unable to
fathom the purpose of twitter other then announcing when ones hamster
But I kept my account and added some people I knew,
and some people at random. But once I had a project as a systems
engineer who was slightly over his head into Linux things, Twitter
proved to be very help-full indeed. Other then IRC
where my cries for help where restricted to a small scale channel, my
"tweets" reached a broader public through the public feed. Slowly but
surely I started to follow people and acquire followers. Twitter became
a broad range distress and communication signal to talk to "the interwebs".
Surely subscribing to interesting peoples proves to be very productive
as well. Twitter has grown (for most) far above the "My hamster just
pooped" standard, into a wider information and communication channel.
Sure, Twitter does not have the intimate and immediate means of communication like for example IRC, but Twitter CAN be seen as a larger "town square" where you meet and talk to people, and where IRC, IM and Email are more ‘intimate’ forms of communication you can get into once you get to know each other.
boomed for me however once I had in installed on my Blackberry. From a
Computer-centered web based experience twitter changed into an
‘Internet-IV’ that created a constant connection between what was
happening online, to myself, wherever I was. By following tweets from
my blackberry I was informed of the great google fuck up a few days ago
as me and my wife where out shopping. And failing to keep the pace in
conversations when on the move, Twitter for my Blackberry proved to be
ideal for some micro blogging. ‘Driving to work, Having a Coffee .. it
al proved interesting enough for some people to reply to, and spark up a conversation if needed.
on the downside, the combination of twitter AND a blackberry AND a
social life (the ones we have OFFLINE) is a recipe for a bad habit. A
habit of being connected to a squabble box that never sleeps, to a chatroom
that does not shut up. To a virtual world that does not stop spinning.
Pretty soon I found myself repeatedly checking my twitter msg"s
and replies. Getting into complete conversations on twitter (not
something it is designed to do) The combination of a "mobile" and an
off-line life (and how about Driving a car) is not a very productive
addiction was looming on the horizon so it was time to sound the
alarm-bell and realise the gravity of the situation. Twitter +
Blackberry can be addictive.
So , How can twitter work for you
as a technology ? Probably by looking at it as a broad range
communication channel, or as a time-delayed community-walkie-talkie. But once over the threshold of 5 feed-refresh requests per minute , you need to look at an IM application or something like IRC. For those of you who DO want to use Twitter as a ‘look my hamster just pooped" microblogging
platform, I seriously ask you to take a look at the bigger picture of
what you tweet. Following people who do nothing more then bitch and
whine about their mental or physical state is boring, unnerving and
serves no purpose. The 117 characters Twitter provides are far to few
to embark on any kind of deep and meaningful conversation.
in all, its a nice and entertaining way to stay in touch with the
broader public. Twitter is probably best NOT used for what it is
? Well please don’t tell me when your hamster poops. Real life high
speed communication device ? I do hope your F5 button is rugged enough
for 60 refreshes per second. So twitter remains undefined and un-outlined. We shall have find peace in just .. Using it.