When Leigh popped up as my 50th friend on Twitter, I just had to send him the message "@leighblackall. Welcome to the twitterverse." It'll be interesting to read what he makes of it all and whether he reaches the same levels of enthusiasm (and criticism) as Alan Levine.
I've been playing with twitter when the opportunity arises. I've been loathe to twitter from work as the department filter blocks it by default (although I do have the magic override password) and I've been finding that when I do sit down to compose a tweet, I've got nothing to say!
Every evening seems to be the same - on the wireless laptop reading blogs, following links. But today was a beautiful autumn day.
The challenge is saying something meaningful in 140 characters, and not treating it as some form of long term chat format. There's enough in-talk throughout my little network without me adding to it. If I direct a "tweet" to someone, the @friend method seems to be the way for others to know that this particular post may been meaningless for them to read.
For me, this has been my first real play with a social networking tool with the adding of friends etc. but interestingly, my friends list is a composite of my Bloglines account, mainly edubloggers ranging from the frequent, the local, the recent and the well-known (but not necessarily tweeting much). I haven't really discovered that many new voices via twitter (Jennifer Maddrell and Arvind S. Grover aside), but that could say more about me than the tool.
For now, I'll keep tweeting.
I had a look at Twitter after your last post on it. I had noticed all the interest, but it wasn’t until you took it up that I thought I’d better have a look 🙂 But I’m afraid it hasn’t grabbed me yet. Nor did Delicious, blogger, flickr, or bloglines when they first came out- but look at me now!! But I think there is something important in what you observe, that it is turning out to be an echo of your bloglines account. I think mine would turn ou the same. In fact, I have experienced that before… bloglines is a twitter isn’t it? But with less immediacy… I’m not sure I want any more immediacy now days. Bloglines (or the blog feeds it captures) gives me time to read and think and stay connected in slower time..
I’m still trying to figure out the utility of Twitter, but one way I’m thinking about it is as a “micro-blog.” A tool such as Tumblr.com might be considered a “mini-blog,” and of course blogs such as Teaching Generation Z are obviously the full-blown variety. So there are three tiers depending on what you want to get across. Just a thought that I heard on Leo Laporte’s show “The Tech Guy.” And Twittervision 3D is pretty intriguing, if only people would, like you suggest, make more interesting 140 character comments!
I think that you do need to build up your network of friends so that you can get a real feel for the different things people are involved in all at varying times and places around the world. I’ve only connected to educators because that’s what I’m interested in exploring and I can’t complain about twitter being a banal tool if I only post banal happenings from my life. I’m intrigued by this tool even if I’m still unsure of is purpose – certainly, as Leigh points out, not the tool for serious reflection. Maybe useful for incidental connection?