Thursday, May 15, 2008

To tweet or not to tweet

Twitter.

The idea is that you drop tiny one-line status updates- "I'm walking the dog," "Having lunch with Ford," "Dreaming about Mars," "Failing to learn how to juggle" etc, and anyone on the tubes who care can follow along to see what you're up to. I see the appeal of a real-time human status line.

It reminds me of finger in the Good/Bad Old Days.

Do I want to do it? Sure, maybe. I like the notion of social computing. I might be more inclined to tweet more frequently than to blog. The low hurdle of a few dozen characters coupled with the directed "What are you doing?" approach effectively removes the problem of writer's block.

I don't have a good idea as to how many people really read this blog, but I'd have an exact number as to how many people "followed" me on Twitter. So there's a selfish, egotistical, narcissistic desire to know how many people care about what I'm doing NOW NOW NOW NOW RIGHT NOW.

I keep track of the games I play already; I'm starting to keep track of the books I read, too. I could do something over at NetFlix for movies, but I honestly have watched fewer movies these days. I also don't really like the fact that my first ideas are simply to report on the media I'm consuming. That seems equal parts shallow and needlessly materialistic, plus the elegance-needy part of my brain despises the extra work needed to keep the same data in two places by hand.

I hear some good use-cases for the service, particularly in convention/conference/con settings or other large gatherings of relative strangers. Businesses can use it like a rumor mill, or Rumor Control. Performers can use it for tour dates and bookings and the like.

Do you use Twitter? Why?

5 comments:

Clinton R. Nixon said...

I use the heck out of Twitter. I'm too busy to really write a blog, and most of what I'd blog, I don't, because it's about a sentence long, like "Just wrote an essay on the New Deal and one on the US culture of violence for history final. Need burrito.".

Peggy said...

I tried using it for a week and found it incredibly annoying: I never really had anything I wanted to post, and the way I was watching it (the purpose-built client Twitteriffic) was just another annoying irregular distraction.

It might be better if I had a mobile phone with a keyboard and was always on the go. I don't, I'm not, and I have no plans to change that any time soon.

Marc Majcher said...

I use it for pretty much the same reason Clinton does. It's somewhere halfway between blogging and IRC. I just hooked it up to my google IM thinger in gmail, which is almost always open, so it's no trouble to dash something off whenever the mood hits. Super low effort, low stakes broadcast. Not revolutionary, but convenient and neat.

Marc Majcher said...

Also, for your book-keeping needs, I highly recommend LibraryThing. I just dropped in over a thousand books before our move, and it was super easy. Open data formats in and out, with nice APIs too, so you're not stuck. Big thumbs up.

Simon Dorfman said...

if you want more stats on who reads your blog, maybe try feedburner. looks like you can use it with blogger:
http://www.google.com/support/feedburner/bin/answer.py?answer=78456&topic=13251