This satirical look at twitter made me laugh. I am now 2 years into twitter and (like other social media use) I have my phases of being very active and not so active. But twitter has grown by over 2000% in the past year, thanks to all the celebrities who have taken it up and the amount of press coverage its had in mainstream media.
In 2008 an interesting white paper about twitter was written by Luke Weaver – twitter.com, and he described many uses and benefits for twitter, including the fact that many professionals are using it as a new form of the “unconference” – sharing thoughts, links, references, ideas and articles spontaneously about trend topics within their area of expertise.
I like to follow a lot of people, then group them so that I can follow different kinds of conversations really easily using a great twitter tool called tweetdeck. I think I’ve only posted a couple of blog posts previously about twitter – one about the poetics of the 140 character limitation, another about collaborative twitter fiction, but the recent growth of twitter makes me rethink what’s new, what’s exciting, and why people might use it. I find it worthwhile and sociable and I enjoy the informality, the spontaneity, the immediateness of the communication. I feel a part of several different communities.
The 140 character word limit has several effects on language – it makes you think carefully about the most economical way of communicating your message, it allows some people to be very poetic and creative with their writing, and it also makes for less pressure – its easy to zap off 140 characters or less and feel like a writer without having the pressure of a blog post or a journal article looming in front of you. It is “bite size” but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is shallow or meaningless. In fact some of the most evocative writing I have read lately comes from twitterers! Yes, there is a lot of crud out there, but you have total control of who you follow and for what reason, so if you’re reading crud, just click “unfollow”! Meanwhile, many thanks to the people who engage in conversations with me over twitter, I enjoy it immensely!
Here’s a mosaic of some of the people I communicate with and/or follow on twitter: