Friday, April 25, 2008

Just learned about Twitter

I was just reading about this Twitter thing on CNN- it's a micro-blogging tool. Basically, you can keep people updated about your every move in life in between writing on your blog, texting, and emailing. Our lives are so wonderful and interesting that we ought not remove one second from the public domain. It's funny, if someone said to "us" (we, the people) that we were required to post about what we were doing, both in long and short format, voice, video, and sms media, we'd holler "big brother!". But give us enough rope and we'll hang ourselves. So, why not. I'm in.
So, this twitter thing- I guess those who use it could be considered twits, no? Anyway, you update tiny messages about what you're doing. The guy on CNN was in Egypt covering political unrest and long story short, was able to get help for himself with one twitter post, "Arrested". His friends following his every move knew instantly he was in trouble and arranged help.
Hopefully nothing like that happens to me, but if it does, I'll let you know. Just check my twitter (would that be the correct usage?). Or my blog. Or I'll just email you. Or call. Or I just grabbed a bunch of still-fresh pine needles, I'll send a smoke signal, or throw a message in a bottle.
Message in a bottle- that could be an AWESOME networking site- I can see it now- virtual messages set afloat in an electronic sea- where it lands, who knows...
Anyway, here's my question, because I'm not entirely sold on the twitter thing- if I can post messages directly to my blog (along with pictures), and I can make them long if I want or twitter-esque short, what's the benefit to twitter? No offense, but I don't know too many people who are so interesting (yeah, I'm talking to you) that I want to know what they're doing every minute. Neither do I think I'm so interesting as to post my actions...what do you think?


Foster Bass said...

The cool thing about Twitter is that you can send updates from your phone or IM. Plus, if you use Facebook, you can have your twitter updates (a.k.a. Tweets) automatically update your facebook status. Useful for things that aren't really blog-worthy.

With regards to the Big Brother comment - I contemplate that often. I even started writing an article about it for Wired, but then my editor friend there lost his job. My theory is that people are becoming so open in response to Big Brother fear. Rather than have the government violate our privacy, we make our lives open books. It seems ever more drastic for younger folks. The survey memes that go around the net encourage people to reveal incredibly intimate details. As a very nosy person, I love it.

david said...

I just learned about this thing called electricity. It's cool, it powers your house.

I think personally Twitter's a bit silly, and will die off someday not too long from now.

I love foster, but if he's sitting right now at his computer watching porn, I don't need to see his tweet about it. Perhaps if I were living in a big city, where his tweets might result in us bumping into each other at a bar, that would be cooler, but eeh.

But with regard to big-brother type activity. There's more invasion of privacy potential from the few hundred security cameras we pass in a day, the EZ Pass on the cars, the credit cards we use and the phone records we leave behind than a tweet saying "buying fat free pizza at grocery store"

Anonymous said...

david I rarely seem to disagree with you about tech stuff, but your wrong about Twitter. It's the start of an identity system that ties folks together. Twitter itself can die I grant, but the micro-blogging with circules of folks idea, seems natural and in some ways entrenched.

Jenni said...

Foster, I was trying to 'follow' you, but I don't know how to do it. I think I'm following Daniel, but I'm not sure I remember how I did that either.
I kind of liked sending tweets before/during/after the ride because people knew I was going and so it's a cool way to update on an interesting event. But to send Tweets for my ordinary life, maybe it's not so riveting.
The moral of the story is: Always be doing interesting rides.

I don't have a Facebook though- I don't know how many things I can keep up with. And yeah, I guess if all my friends/family were updating often it would be cool- I would have known Daniel was at the zoo the same day we were going to the zoo.