I don’t get Twitter.

And it’s not just because I’m a long-winded bastard, though that’s definitely true. (I can remember my elementary school days, when I’d come back to face another school year after a glorious summer of building rockets, tinkering with electronics, and shunning my peers, and the teacher would ask us to write a 250 word essay about what we did over summer vacation. “Two hundred and fifty words!” I’d wail. “How can I ever write two hundred and fifty words??!“. Nowadays, two hundred and fifty words isn’t even enough to write the introduction to what I did last weekend. But I digress.)

It’s more that I don’t really understand what the value is in sending out regular blips to the world explaining what I’m doing. It seems to me that if I’m doing something interesting, like tying someone to the bed and fisting her, I’m unlikely to stop what I’m doing to Twitter about it (and wouldn’t you really rather read the full version later, anyway?), and if what I’m doing allows me to stop and Twitter about it, it probably isn’t very interesting. “Waiting for potatoes to boil,” for example. (Which is, honestly, what I’m doing right now. figmentj has drafted me to help with the Thanksgiving cooking; those of you who know my cooking skills are probably reeling in stark raving terror right about now. But again, I digress.)

It seems to me that Twitter is really only ideal for those times when you’re doing something interesting but you also can type about it on your cell phone, and I can’t think of very many cases like that. Falling out of a burning airplane, maybe:

Mixed blessing. Survived the explosion, but…

Wow. Sure is cold. The ground is very far away.

Falling faster now. 9.8m/sec2 is a bitch.

hard 2 type. hands stiff. lots of wind.

kthxbai.

So, those of you who use Twitter, what am I missing?

86 thoughts on “I don’t get Twitter.

  1. The only person whose twitter I read is the writer of an online serial. She uses it to let her readers know when there will be an update or if she’s going to be taking a break for a few days. Or if she’s updating the site and it will be down for a period of time, things like that. Also, she has a function on her page that lets you see her twitter from her page, and don’t have to go to the twitter site to see it.

    But then again, I also had the texting function of my cell phone turned off; I don’t really feel the need for immediate contact. If it’s important enough it will warrant a call, if not it can wait until I’m not busy.

  2. The only person whose twitter I read is the writer of an online serial. She uses it to let her readers know when there will be an update or if she’s going to be taking a break for a few days. Or if she’s updating the site and it will be down for a period of time, things like that. Also, she has a function on her page that lets you see her twitter from her page, and don’t have to go to the twitter site to see it.

    But then again, I also had the texting function of my cell phone turned off; I don’t really feel the need for immediate contact. If it’s important enough it will warrant a call, if not it can wait until I’m not busy.

  3. It doesn’t matter if you don’t “get” it. Here is what it is to me:

    For me, twitter is the comments one would make to friends were they near. I can share news friends might enjoy. It is a way to issue an alert (such as: I-4 has a wreck at this intersection, or we’re going to this movie here at this time, join us if you can). Little, incidental messages often of no great import, that can or must be short and that one can choose to receive wherever one is via cell phone. That’s all.

  4. It doesn’t matter if you don’t “get” it. Here is what it is to me:

    For me, twitter is the comments one would make to friends were they near. I can share news friends might enjoy. It is a way to issue an alert (such as: I-4 has a wreck at this intersection, or we’re going to this movie here at this time, join us if you can). Little, incidental messages often of no great import, that can or must be short and that one can choose to receive wherever one is via cell phone. That’s all.

  5. Most of what you say about it is very true.

    I use it because sometimes I have these little one sentence thoughts that normally wouldn’t warrant doing a whole long livejournal post about it, but a tweet is about the perfect length to just record it for posterity. Plus it’s hooked up to my facebook so I don’t have to ever bother with updating my status there.

  6. Most of what you say about it is very true.

    I use it because sometimes I have these little one sentence thoughts that normally wouldn’t warrant doing a whole long livejournal post about it, but a tweet is about the perfect length to just record it for posterity. Plus it’s hooked up to my facebook so I don’t have to ever bother with updating my status there.

  7. Twitter is a way to break up the day. Reading about Othar from “Girl Genius” is amusing; John Cleese is still funny; various news and weather feeds are handy…

    Twitter lets me know what’s going on with other people. A friend was having a problem, I suggested a solution; another is having a bad day, I can call to cheer them up; a third is going out, and I might join them (or make a suggestion on NOT going somewhere!)

    I don’t know (or read) anyone that actually does the “driving to the supermarket” thing. Those that do really don’t post long because they realize how boring that is as well.

    (I used to use it to send mails to myself, but I use qwiry.com for that now…)

  8. Twitter is a way to break up the day. Reading about Othar from “Girl Genius” is amusing; John Cleese is still funny; various news and weather feeds are handy…

    Twitter lets me know what’s going on with other people. A friend was having a problem, I suggested a solution; another is having a bad day, I can call to cheer them up; a third is going out, and I might join them (or make a suggestion on NOT going somewhere!)

    I don’t know (or read) anyone that actually does the “driving to the supermarket” thing. Those that do really don’t post long because they realize how boring that is as well.

    (I used to use it to send mails to myself, but I use qwiry.com for that now…)

  9. I use it as a news aggregate. Especially during the election it was great to have any breaking news pop up with short but instant information for me. And also just to tweak the friends that I have subscribed to.

  10. I use it as a news aggregate. Especially during the election it was great to have any breaking news pop up with short but instant information for me. And also just to tweak the friends that I have subscribed to.

  11. I like my Twitter account for four reasons:

    1. I feed my Facebook status updates to it, which makes them accessible to people who don’t use Facebook, and also reads like a one-line blog of random Simpsons quotage. Not sure that the internet, let alone the world, really needs this, but it pleases me.

    2. I feed all of my friends’ one-line RSS feeds to a second locked Twitter account that I’ve added as a friend – all of their Facebook statuses (nice, because otherwise I only see a random selection rather than a full feed over time), their Delicious bookmarks, the events that my boy adds to our shared gCal/iCal and other such things. It bunches all of this messy stuff into one container, so I can skim through it quickly.

    3. I harass my friends who post three or four one-line LJ musings a day to get with it and post these to Twitter instead. ๐Ÿ™‚

    4. I enjoy fantasising about cross-feeding all of my RSS feeds in an wonderful act of recursion and pointlessness, ultimately breaking the internet (or at least really irritating anyone subscribed), Twitter being a pivotal element in this act of random recursion. Yes, I’m aware this isn’t a compelling reason for most people to adopt Twitter.

  12. I like my Twitter account for four reasons:

    1. I feed my Facebook status updates to it, which makes them accessible to people who don’t use Facebook, and also reads like a one-line blog of random Simpsons quotage. Not sure that the internet, let alone the world, really needs this, but it pleases me.

    2. I feed all of my friends’ one-line RSS feeds to a second locked Twitter account that I’ve added as a friend – all of their Facebook statuses (nice, because otherwise I only see a random selection rather than a full feed over time), their Delicious bookmarks, the events that my boy adds to our shared gCal/iCal and other such things. It bunches all of this messy stuff into one container, so I can skim through it quickly.

    3. I harass my friends who post three or four one-line LJ musings a day to get with it and post these to Twitter instead. ๐Ÿ™‚

    4. I enjoy fantasising about cross-feeding all of my RSS feeds in an wonderful act of recursion and pointlessness, ultimately breaking the internet (or at least really irritating anyone subscribed), Twitter being a pivotal element in this act of random recursion. Yes, I’m aware this isn’t a compelling reason for most people to adopt Twitter.

  13. I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one who doesn’t get it.

    If it’s important enough to disturb me, then call or email me. I get pissed off at Twitter addicts who can’t carry on a conversation with the people they’re actually in the room with because they keep pausing to read messages or type every five minutes.

  14. I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one who doesn’t get it.

    If it’s important enough to disturb me, then call or email me. I get pissed off at Twitter addicts who can’t carry on a conversation with the people they’re actually in the room with because they keep pausing to read messages or type every five minutes.

  15. I’m with you. What I really don’t get is feeding every day’s worth of Twitterpation to one’s LJ.

    Twittering

    • 07:35 Getting up. #
    • 09:07 God my job is boring. #
    • 13:15 On the can. Pheeeew! Shouldn’t have had that second chili dog. #

    [etc.]

    • For cross referencing. Frankly I should figure out how to make my crossposts private so that they don’t annoy people on my f-list. Or not. It’s one of the warts in my “warts and all”.

  16. I’m with you. What I really don’t get is feeding every day’s worth of Twitterpation to one’s LJ.

    Twittering

    • 07:35 Getting up. #
    • 09:07 God my job is boring. #
    • 13:15 On the can. Pheeeew! Shouldn’t have had that second chili dog. #

    [etc.]

  17. Twitter is for those fleeting thoughts that you want to share, either with the world, or just with friends, but that aren’t worth a thousand word blog post three hours later, or that you won’t remember three hours later. eg. “Glad I picked a warm day to come to campus. OMG, so much cleavage!”

    I use it a lot to make fun of my kid. She says something funny, I laugh. I “tweet” it. The twitter client I have on my phone is fast and simple enough that I can do it without taking away from being a good moderately decent parent.

    Bug: “Kids these days…” after one of her friends runs across the road without looking.

    It’s also much better for “live blogging” than most other services. Get something out to the world – or just your friends – as it’s happening. My daughter (I swear she’s not the only thing I talk about normally) broke her foot, and I “tweeted” from the doctor’s office as soon as I had the diagnosis. There were a lot of concerned friends and family watching for that.

    Finally, it’s moderately useful for impromptu social gatherings. eg. “Taking the kid to XYZ park in 15 minutes. Anybody wanna join us?”

    Most importantly, IMHO, though, with any social networking service, more important than the service itself is how many of your friends use it. I use started using Twitter because my friends use Twitter, and so it’s one more way for me to stay in touch with them, and for them to stay in touch with me. (Incidentally, I use a the Twitter app on Facebook to bring those posts over for the mostly separate group of friends that are on Facebook, but not Twitter.) Unless you tend to be the “early adopter” in your social circle, you’re not going to bother with a service until you start hearing from your friends how much you need a Twitter (or Facebook, or Myspace, or LJ, etc) account…

    • I second the impromptu gatherings thing – we use it a good deal for just this. Also, especially when we’re traveling or running lots of errands, coordinating and keeping people who would otherwise worry in the loop without having to call each of them. (i.e., Delayed in Chicago! I hate O’Hare so very much.)

  18. Twitter is for those fleeting thoughts that you want to share, either with the world, or just with friends, but that aren’t worth a thousand word blog post three hours later, or that you won’t remember three hours later. eg. “Glad I picked a warm day to come to campus. OMG, so much cleavage!”

    I use it a lot to make fun of my kid. She says something funny, I laugh. I “tweet” it. The twitter client I have on my phone is fast and simple enough that I can do it without taking away from being a good moderately decent parent.

    Bug: “Kids these days…” after one of her friends runs across the road without looking.

    It’s also much better for “live blogging” than most other services. Get something out to the world – or just your friends – as it’s happening. My daughter (I swear she’s not the only thing I talk about normally) broke her foot, and I “tweeted” from the doctor’s office as soon as I had the diagnosis. There were a lot of concerned friends and family watching for that.

    Finally, it’s moderately useful for impromptu social gatherings. eg. “Taking the kid to XYZ park in 15 minutes. Anybody wanna join us?”

    Most importantly, IMHO, though, with any social networking service, more important than the service itself is how many of your friends use it. I use started using Twitter because my friends use Twitter, and so it’s one more way for me to stay in touch with them, and for them to stay in touch with me. (Incidentally, I use a the Twitter app on Facebook to bring those posts over for the mostly separate group of friends that are on Facebook, but not Twitter.) Unless you tend to be the “early adopter” in your social circle, you’re not going to bother with a service until you start hearing from your friends how much you need a Twitter (or Facebook, or Myspace, or LJ, etc) account…

  19. I use it during lulls, mostly. I twittered on my Disney trip, and it was when I was in line/on the bus/waiting for dinner.
    I also (sometimes) use it for little one-line thoughts and notes. Sometimes I use it just so I can remember something later, sometimes it’s things like “This is the stupidest book title ever:”. If I had a cameraphone and Twitter supported pictures, I’d probably use it even more.

  20. I use it during lulls, mostly. I twittered on my Disney trip, and it was when I was in line/on the bus/waiting for dinner.
    I also (sometimes) use it for little one-line thoughts and notes. Sometimes I use it just so I can remember something later, sometimes it’s things like “This is the stupidest book title ever:”. If I had a cameraphone and Twitter supported pictures, I’d probably use it even more.

  21. Hey, I’m with you here. To me, Twitter just seems like an uninteresting tool to stalk people… I get no enjoyment out of reading peoples’ twitter feeds as it’s just mundane and lacking any content… ah well.

  22. Hey, I’m with you here. To me, Twitter just seems like an uninteresting tool to stalk people… I get no enjoyment out of reading peoples’ twitter feeds as it’s just mundane and lacking any content… ah well.

  23. While this is not precisely an answer, I wrote about Twitter last year in a post called “Ubiquitous Presence”:

    http://chipotle.livejournal.com/169993.html

    Twitter is an odd intermingling of IM, SMS and blog; it has aspects of all three, but it’s a separate animal from any of them. The fact that you are writing publicly, even in short pithy phrases, tends to change what you’re writing; your reports on what you’re doing might be like Jeffrey Zeldman’s “Tomorrow, I must go to Social Security and the Department of Motor Vehicles. For relief, I’ll nail my scrotum to a hot cactus.” And some folks, like Merlin Mann, tend to write quick observations: “When enough people know what you’re doing that they can easily find others who hate it too, you kinda have to feel like you’ve arrived.” (That’s Merlin from New College, if you remember him — he appears to be making a living these days as an internet celebrity. Interesting work if you can get it.)

  24. While this is not precisely an answer, I wrote about Twitter last year in a post called “Ubiquitous Presence”:

    http://chipotle.livejournal.com/169993.html

    Twitter is an odd intermingling of IM, SMS and blog; it has aspects of all three, but it’s a separate animal from any of them. The fact that you are writing publicly, even in short pithy phrases, tends to change what you’re writing; your reports on what you’re doing might be like Jeffrey Zeldman’s “Tomorrow, I must go to Social Security and the Department of Motor Vehicles. For relief, I’ll nail my scrotum to a hot cactus.” And some folks, like Merlin Mann, tend to write quick observations: “When enough people know what you’re doing that they can easily find others who hate it too, you kinda have to feel like you’ve arrived.” (That’s Merlin from New College, if you remember him — he appears to be making a living these days as an internet celebrity. Interesting work if you can get it.)

  25. I look at twitter to get links to friends blogs. Many of them post when they have updated. Now and then I post moments of my own, but usually after the fact and nothing too terribly exciting. i don’t know enough of the people following my twitter close enough for it to be an effective back and forth for of communication. I use LJ and regular phone text messages for that.

  26. I look at twitter to get links to friends blogs. Many of them post when they have updated. Now and then I post moments of my own, but usually after the fact and nothing too terribly exciting. i don’t know enough of the people following my twitter close enough for it to be an effective back and forth for of communication. I use LJ and regular phone text messages for that.

  27. I didn’t get it at first either…. I was like “Why do I want to tell everyone what I’m doing right this second? Sounds boring”. But when I realized it’s a great cell-phone-to-internet link to record those fleeting thoughts you otherwise wouldn’t remember. I don’t always have pen and paper with me, but I’ve always got my cell phone.

    I still don’t use it all that much – don’t regularly log into it or anything – but I recognize its potential at least.

  28. I didn’t get it at first either…. I was like “Why do I want to tell everyone what I’m doing right this second? Sounds boring”. But when I realized it’s a great cell-phone-to-internet link to record those fleeting thoughts you otherwise wouldn’t remember. I don’t always have pen and paper with me, but I’ve always got my cell phone.

    I still don’t use it all that much – don’t regularly log into it or anything – but I recognize its potential at least.

  29. I never really got into twitter itself, as the interface drove me insane and it frequently bogged down and services would go missing. Definitely not something that will win me over.

    plurk on the other hand totally pwned me. Awesome interface, little downtime, easy to use.

    As for why I use it? It’s more a gestalt experience. You could get a pretty good idea what I’m like from my journal/blog, but your then reading something I’ve potentially taken some time with. It’s a cleaned up and sanitized version. Which isn’t always a bad thing ๐Ÿ˜‰

    But microblogging services like twitter and plurk provide snapshots into my day and what I’m like from moment to moment. Whether it’s a short pithy remark or a scathing indictment of Yet Another SUV Driving Soccer Mom On A Cell Phone Nearly Killing Me ™, it provides a different context to my online presence.

  30. I never really got into twitter itself, as the interface drove me insane and it frequently bogged down and services would go missing. Definitely not something that will win me over.

    plurk on the other hand totally pwned me. Awesome interface, little downtime, easy to use.

    As for why I use it? It’s more a gestalt experience. You could get a pretty good idea what I’m like from my journal/blog, but your then reading something I’ve potentially taken some time with. It’s a cleaned up and sanitized version. Which isn’t always a bad thing ๐Ÿ˜‰

    But microblogging services like twitter and plurk provide snapshots into my day and what I’m like from moment to moment. Whether it’s a short pithy remark or a scathing indictment of Yet Another SUV Driving Soccer Mom On A Cell Phone Nearly Killing Me ™, it provides a different context to my online presence.

  31. Twitters are exactly the same as blogs, just more laconic. Some are interesting, some suck. Franklin, a lot of people don’t “get” blogs because they don’t realize blogs like yours exist–most people use LiveJournal to log the mundane details of their life that enrich no one. In the same way, if someone doesn’t “get” Twitter, it’s not just because the entire medium perplexes them (Twitter perplexes me). It’s also because they just haven’t seen the right kind of content.

    I think that Twitter’s cheeky “What are you doing” question is not only misleading, but widely ignored by most folks who actually have interesting Twitter accounts.

    Also, Twitter is a useful form of asynchronous instant messaging. What if you have a quick question to ask someone, but you’re not sitting at a computer and you don’t really use any instant messenger programs? You can twitter a question at them: “@soandso What did you say was that awesome bar in Lakewood?” Then whenever they happen to check Twitter, they can reply. Also, if someone was sitting in on the conversation, or knows what soandso’s favorite bar is, they can answer as well. Or just give suggestions themselves.

    Twitter’s usefulness, in my opinion, comes from its middle-of-the-road utility between “micro”-blogging and asynchronous messaging.

  32. Twitters are exactly the same as blogs, just more laconic. Some are interesting, some suck. Franklin, a lot of people don’t “get” blogs because they don’t realize blogs like yours exist–most people use LiveJournal to log the mundane details of their life that enrich no one. In the same way, if someone doesn’t “get” Twitter, it’s not just because the entire medium perplexes them (Twitter perplexes me). It’s also because they just haven’t seen the right kind of content.

    I think that Twitter’s cheeky “What are you doing” question is not only misleading, but widely ignored by most folks who actually have interesting Twitter accounts.

    Also, Twitter is a useful form of asynchronous instant messaging. What if you have a quick question to ask someone, but you’re not sitting at a computer and you don’t really use any instant messenger programs? You can twitter a question at them: “@soandso What did you say was that awesome bar in Lakewood?” Then whenever they happen to check Twitter, they can reply. Also, if someone was sitting in on the conversation, or knows what soandso’s favorite bar is, they can answer as well. Or just give suggestions themselves.

    Twitter’s usefulness, in my opinion, comes from its middle-of-the-road utility between “micro”-blogging and asynchronous messaging.

  33. I don’t get twitter at all. I have an LJ (which I thought I would never use) to tell the whole world my thoughts. I have IM for text chats, I have IM on my iTouch when I’m not near my computer, I have text messaging on my phone for those quick little notes and I can send to multiple people for last-minute social plans, and I have a real paper notepad and an electronic notepad in my iTouch to record things I see that I might want to talk more about later.

    Twitter seems rather redundant after all that. Most of the time, I’d just rather call or email my friends to talk to them, and LJ takes care of the generic “catching up” functions.

    I have used twitter for one purpose:
    I manage the FPR website, and we have a Breaking News section that keeps visitors updated on the latest info as it gets closer to the event. So, when things like price changes go into effect, or we get booked up, this info is right there on the main page.

    Now, normally, I’d just edit the webpage like I do for any other section of content. But every once in a while, I’ll be too busy to update it on time, and one of the other staff members needs to be able to do it. But none of the other staff members knows anything about coding websites. So all they have to do is log into Twitter, add the update, and it gets sent to the FPR homepage automatically.

    That’s the only thing I can see that’s useful about Twitter.

  34. I don’t get twitter at all. I have an LJ (which I thought I would never use) to tell the whole world my thoughts. I have IM for text chats, I have IM on my iTouch when I’m not near my computer, I have text messaging on my phone for those quick little notes and I can send to multiple people for last-minute social plans, and I have a real paper notepad and an electronic notepad in my iTouch to record things I see that I might want to talk more about later.

    Twitter seems rather redundant after all that. Most of the time, I’d just rather call or email my friends to talk to them, and LJ takes care of the generic “catching up” functions.

    I have used twitter for one purpose:
    I manage the FPR website, and we have a Breaking News section that keeps visitors updated on the latest info as it gets closer to the event. So, when things like price changes go into effect, or we get booked up, this info is right there on the main page.

    Now, normally, I’d just edit the webpage like I do for any other section of content. But every once in a while, I’ll be too busy to update it on time, and one of the other staff members needs to be able to do it. But none of the other staff members knows anything about coding websites. So all they have to do is log into Twitter, add the update, and it gets sent to the FPR homepage automatically.

    That’s the only thing I can see that’s useful about Twitter.

  35. I avoided twitter for as long as I could, but I’m a weak and fallible human being. I really love it.

    Twitter is social networking for the hopelessly impatient. To really make the most of it, you don’t read twitter, you just sort of let it float next to whatever it is you’re doing and wait for something interesting to cross the horizon. It’s more like a stock ticker than a microblog — a lot of irrelevant information punctuated occasionally by something interesting. If you pay too much attention, it’ll either bore you to death or make you nuts.

    For me, it’s a faster path to the hive mind than any other online community I’ve tried. Before twitter, I would use livejournal to query the ether, and expect a 24-hour turn-around on useful information. With twitter, it’s under thirty minutes. Combine that with a built-in audience for my distributed internet empire (and lets face it, “social networking” is just marketing speak for “captive audience builder”) and give it just enough momentum to keep my attention, and it’s a little gizmo that works really well for me.

    Everybody on twitter I’ve ever met has something to sell. I do not understand anyone using it for purely social purposes — I think there are better solutions.

  36. I avoided twitter for as long as I could, but I’m a weak and fallible human being. I really love it.

    Twitter is social networking for the hopelessly impatient. To really make the most of it, you don’t read twitter, you just sort of let it float next to whatever it is you’re doing and wait for something interesting to cross the horizon. It’s more like a stock ticker than a microblog — a lot of irrelevant information punctuated occasionally by something interesting. If you pay too much attention, it’ll either bore you to death or make you nuts.

    For me, it’s a faster path to the hive mind than any other online community I’ve tried. Before twitter, I would use livejournal to query the ether, and expect a 24-hour turn-around on useful information. With twitter, it’s under thirty minutes. Combine that with a built-in audience for my distributed internet empire (and lets face it, “social networking” is just marketing speak for “captive audience builder”) and give it just enough momentum to keep my attention, and it’s a little gizmo that works really well for me.

    Everybody on twitter I’ve ever met has something to sell. I do not understand anyone using it for purely social purposes — I think there are better solutions.

  37. “Social proprioception” is the best description I’ve heard for it.
    Saying “eating a bagel from the kitchen @ work” doesn’t sound like much, but knowing it’s from a friend back on the east coast tells me that A. her life isn’t going hideously wrong. B. she made it to work in one piece and didn’t get hit by a bus or anything.

    Or being able to tell : Yes, I made my flight. Expect to hear from me again in 9 hours.
    Small stuff like that.

    It’s like a social radar where each message is the blip of somebody you know lighting up with a data block underneath it as the sweep goes by.

  38. “Social proprioception” is the best description I’ve heard for it.
    Saying “eating a bagel from the kitchen @ work” doesn’t sound like much, but knowing it’s from a friend back on the east coast tells me that A. her life isn’t going hideously wrong. B. she made it to work in one piece and didn’t get hit by a bus or anything.

    Or being able to tell : Yes, I made my flight. Expect to hear from me again in 9 hours.
    Small stuff like that.

    It’s like a social radar where each message is the blip of somebody you know lighting up with a data block underneath it as the sweep goes by.

  39. I did not get, nor enjoy, twitter until I saw Twitter In Plain English:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddO9idmax0o

    Now my problem is that I enjoy it too much and have to scale back. Thanks to handy clients like Digsby, I can keep an eye on all my social networking and IM environments – and be tons less productive without seeming like it. Oh hooray for self-deception!

    At the moment I’m on a bit of a twitter hiatus until I catch up a bit on schoolwork.

  40. I did not get, nor enjoy, twitter until I saw Twitter In Plain English:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddO9idmax0o

    Now my problem is that I enjoy it too much and have to scale back. Thanks to handy clients like Digsby, I can keep an eye on all my social networking and IM environments – and be tons less productive without seeming like it. Oh hooray for self-deception!

    At the moment I’m on a bit of a twitter hiatus until I catch up a bit on schoolwork.

  41. For cross referencing. Frankly I should figure out how to make my crossposts private so that they don’t annoy people on my f-list. Or not. It’s one of the warts in my “warts and all”.

  42. The last laugh?

    Like a lot of pieces of new technology, I don’t think Twitter is nearly old enough that people know quite what to do with it yet. Consider this:

    I first used the Web in 1995. With the exception of a few large businesses and a hefty collection of graphics-laden personal websites, Yahoo was pretty much the Mac-daddy of the Net at the time and we thought that’s where the future lay. Fast-forward about ten years, and Google has long blasted Yahoo out of the water, while the bad personal sites are replaced with Facebook and MySpace pages.

    I don’t use Twitter myself but I think in five to ten years’ time, it will still be here but have evolved out of all recognition. They said MP3 was a fad, they all laughed at NetAid, they said a 56K modem was as fast as you could go, and one day they’ll say Twitter was so basic back then.

    As far as the actual messages go, it’s a serious mistake to say something for the sake of it. If you’d just been given a promotion, or just heard a hilarious joke or you really were sitting beside a plane wreck awaiting the arrival of the emergency services, that would be something to say. But Oh, just sitting here bored on train, is not that.

  43. The last laugh?

    Like a lot of pieces of new technology, I don’t think Twitter is nearly old enough that people know quite what to do with it yet. Consider this:

    I first used the Web in 1995. With the exception of a few large businesses and a hefty collection of graphics-laden personal websites, Yahoo was pretty much the Mac-daddy of the Net at the time and we thought that’s where the future lay. Fast-forward about ten years, and Google has long blasted Yahoo out of the water, while the bad personal sites are replaced with Facebook and MySpace pages.

    I don’t use Twitter myself but I think in five to ten years’ time, it will still be here but have evolved out of all recognition. They said MP3 was a fad, they all laughed at NetAid, they said a 56K modem was as fast as you could go, and one day they’ll say Twitter was so basic back then.

    As far as the actual messages go, it’s a serious mistake to say something for the sake of it. If you’d just been given a promotion, or just heard a hilarious joke or you really were sitting beside a plane wreck awaiting the arrival of the emergency services, that would be something to say. But Oh, just sitting here bored on train, is not that.

  44. I second the impromptu gatherings thing – we use it a good deal for just this. Also, especially when we’re traveling or running lots of errands, coordinating and keeping people who would otherwise worry in the loop without having to call each of them. (i.e., Delayed in Chicago! I hate O’Hare so very much.)

  45. Re: The last laugh?

    it works like XMPP’s status with persistence. It can be used for;

    asynchronous stand-up meetings i.e “in: working on request parser”. So when your co-worker in a different timezone or with a different circadian rhythm wakes up they can see what you are or have been working on.

    co-worker location and state i.e. “in blue lounge hacking on HR state engine”. People can tell at a glance what your state is and if they should come collaborate with you.

    Those are just a couple of examples of it’s usage. Twitter is a very simple service. In a vacuum it’s use is limited. When coupled with other services and/or social constructs it starts to make sense.

    –R

  46. Re: The last laugh?

    it works like XMPP’s status with persistence. It can be used for;

    asynchronous stand-up meetings i.e “in: working on request parser”. So when your co-worker in a different timezone or with a different circadian rhythm wakes up they can see what you are or have been working on.

    co-worker location and state i.e. “in blue lounge hacking on HR state engine”. People can tell at a glance what your state is and if they should come collaborate with you.

    Those are just a couple of examples of it’s usage. Twitter is a very simple service. In a vacuum it’s use is limited. When coupled with other services and/or social constructs it starts to make sense.

    –R

  47. Hypocrisy?

    “It’s more that I don’t really understand what the value is in sending out regular blips to the world explaining what I’m doing.”

    He writes in his regular blog entry for the world to read.

    • Re: Hypocrisy?

      The blog posts serve a completely different function, though. There’s more to them than “eating frozen peas right now,” y’know?

  48. Hypocrisy?

    “It’s more that I don’t really understand what the value is in sending out regular blips to the world explaining what I’m doing.”

    He writes in his regular blog entry for the world to read.

  49. Re: Hypocrisy?

    The blog posts serve a completely different function, though. There’s more to them than “eating frozen peas right now,” y’know?

  50. It may not be for you, but it’s a tool with a variety of uses.

    Here’s what I personally like about twitter:

    1 – It’s a way for me to have some idea of how my closest friends are doing, how their day is, etc. This can be really important when your closest friends are far enough away that you can’t get this info by just looking over at them across the room (or even catching up with them at the end of the day). Also, I get an idea of whether today is a good day to call, and whether they’re incredibly busy or bored and want distraction.

    2 – It’s a quick way for me to connect to several folks I trust all at once if I need advice, opinions, information, or to coordinate something

    3 – It lets me inform my closest friends of how things are going with me, succinctly and in real-time. Like item 1 in reverse.

    4 – I can find out about topics that interest me in a very narrowly-defined fashion. For example, Eric follows the Mars Rovers via twitter. It’s nifty. I don’t currently subscribe to any strictly informational twitters, but there are TONS of them out there.

    5 -A tweet will never be so long that it takes a significant amount of time to get to the point, so even if it’s not interesting, it is brief and can be easily ignored if I so choose.

    Twitter is a little more functional than being on an SMS feed, because there are several ways to keep up with it depending on your needs or desires. (I choose SMS as well as RSS, so I have real-time wherever I am, and an archive of stuff to refer to later if there were links or if I was sending to remind myself of something.)

    I only get device updates for the people to whom I feel close enough that I would be interested in whether they’re having a good or bad day, and to whom I might be likely to reply (oh, and Wil Wheaton). I do not twitter publicly (nor do I blog publicly) because I like to know who my audience is.

    From what I understand, quite a few folks use twitter exclusively to entertain. What they send is not “I’m having lox and bagels.” rather, it’s “I just saw a flying purple people eater get cut off on I-75 by the Wicked Witch of the West. He was pissed as hell!” Instead of a “joke-a-day”, it’s more like a “joke-when-I-think-of-one” that you can specifically target to your own sense of humor through careful selection. Many creative people like to be creative in small pieces as well as in large chunks. Twitter can provide an outlet for that.

    Like any technology, it may not seem useful to you personally, but its success is a testament to its usefulness to numerous others.

  51. It may not be for you, but it’s a tool with a variety of uses.

    Here’s what I personally like about twitter:

    1 – It’s a way for me to have some idea of how my closest friends are doing, how their day is, etc. This can be really important when your closest friends are far enough away that you can’t get this info by just looking over at them across the room (or even catching up with them at the end of the day). Also, I get an idea of whether today is a good day to call, and whether they’re incredibly busy or bored and want distraction.

    2 – It’s a quick way for me to connect to several folks I trust all at once if I need advice, opinions, information, or to coordinate something

    3 – It lets me inform my closest friends of how things are going with me, succinctly and in real-time. Like item 1 in reverse.

    4 – I can find out about topics that interest me in a very narrowly-defined fashion. For example, Eric follows the Mars Rovers via twitter. It’s nifty. I don’t currently subscribe to any strictly informational twitters, but there are TONS of them out there.

    5 -A tweet will never be so long that it takes a significant amount of time to get to the point, so even if it’s not interesting, it is brief and can be easily ignored if I so choose.

    Twitter is a little more functional than being on an SMS feed, because there are several ways to keep up with it depending on your needs or desires. (I choose SMS as well as RSS, so I have real-time wherever I am, and an archive of stuff to refer to later if there were links or if I was sending to remind myself of something.)

    I only get device updates for the people to whom I feel close enough that I would be interested in whether they’re having a good or bad day, and to whom I might be likely to reply (oh, and Wil Wheaton). I do not twitter publicly (nor do I blog publicly) because I like to know who my audience is.

    From what I understand, quite a few folks use twitter exclusively to entertain. What they send is not “I’m having lox and bagels.” rather, it’s “I just saw a flying purple people eater get cut off on I-75 by the Wicked Witch of the West. He was pissed as hell!” Instead of a “joke-a-day”, it’s more like a “joke-when-I-think-of-one” that you can specifically target to your own sense of humor through careful selection. Many creative people like to be creative in small pieces as well as in large chunks. Twitter can provide an outlet for that.

    Like any technology, it may not seem useful to you personally, but its success is a testament to its usefulness to numerous others.

  52. I’ve found Twitter to very useful to update dynamic contact to our travel website (www.technomadia.com), to give our current status. I use it to post things like ‘Arrived in Seattle’. While this may be mundane stuff out of context, it is completely relevant to our website where people go to check in on what’s up in our adventure.

    And it’s especially useful to keep our parents from calling us every few hours to make sure we’re ok. We set them up with Twitter feeds on their iGoogle page so they can get live updates of our travels and not worry as much.

    And other people who care to keep up with us can choose how they receive the content. And if they don’t follow us regularly, many know they can just go to our website and see a current status.

    And I can update it from the iPhone, my laptop or IM. It’s been quite helpful in that regard.

    Aside from that, I also now use Twitter to update my Facebook Status. And I have it integrated to be updated from Loopt (a cool social networking tool for the iPhone).

  53. I’ve found Twitter to very useful to update dynamic contact to our travel website (www.technomadia.com), to give our current status. I use it to post things like ‘Arrived in Seattle’. While this may be mundane stuff out of context, it is completely relevant to our website where people go to check in on what’s up in our adventure.

    And it’s especially useful to keep our parents from calling us every few hours to make sure we’re ok. We set them up with Twitter feeds on their iGoogle page so they can get live updates of our travels and not worry as much.

    And other people who care to keep up with us can choose how they receive the content. And if they don’t follow us regularly, many know they can just go to our website and see a current status.

    And I can update it from the iPhone, my laptop or IM. It’s been quite helpful in that regard.

    Aside from that, I also now use Twitter to update my Facebook Status. And I have it integrated to be updated from Loopt (a cool social networking tool for the iPhone).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.