After some nudging from a few people (I won’t name names: Mitch, Austin and Chris) I decided to give Twitter a chance.
You can see the widget in my first sidebar on the right. That now tells you (as accurately as I so choose) what I’m up to. Scary, huh?
When I first heard about Twitter I was not impressed. Do I really need to know what everyone is doing down to the minute?
It seems so compulsive, obsessive and over-the-top. And in many ways it is. It plays beautifully (or frighteningly) towards our natural instincts as humans to know what others are doing. We’re all Peeping Toms and voyeurs at heart – Twitter let’s us do that very easily.
We also like to think of ourselves as rock stars (why not!) and when you start to see the number of people following you grow that’s exactly what you feel like. Bam! There goes my ego! Robert Scoble is apparently being followed by everyone in Twitter. Maybe not, but he’s got over 850 followers in there tracking his every move.
One friend emailed me and said, “Welcome to Twitter Hell…” which I can only assume means I’ll spend too much time reading my friends’ 1-sentence long bits on what they’re doing, watching as updates roll in on the site or through my phone.
Here are some quick observations:
- Twitter is fun. You can’t help but get roped in to tracking what your friends are doing, updating them every time you sneeze and watching your list of friends and followers grow. What I found particularly interesting is that a couple people I know who aren’t considered great communicators are using Twitter heavily.
- Twitter is being used for 2-way communication. People are actually communicating with specific friends through Twitter and not using it solely to broadcast what they’re doing. I recently wrote a message @jeremywright about his current trip to Vegas. Although everyone can see it, Twitter is creating actual dialogues and not just bits of information floating all over.
- Twitter is forming a sub-culture. There’s no question that Twitter is forming a sub-culture of people connected through it. Soon, people won’t ask, “Do you blog?” The question will be, “Do you Twitter?” (or “Are you a twit?” – but that might be for a different reason.)
- Twitter might be a flavor du jour. I can see a point in time when people get bored with or tired of Twitter. After 1 day I already feel anxiety about making sure it’s regularly updated and used effectively. That might be more telling about me than anything else. But, at some point I can imagine people deciding it’s not worth updating regularly and then letting it slide. Twitter only works if people use it a lot.
I’m going to try very hard not to get too sucked into Twitter. But it’s amazing the type of people using it – people who are so insanely busy it’s not funny. But they’re still updating Twitter a few times per day. That says something for sure.
In the meantime, feel free to check out my Twitter profile and add me as a friend.