After years of dismissing it as silly or useless, I admit that I have given in. I created a Twitter account, followed a few friends and account interests, and typed up the odd 140 character post (extremely difficult given my propensity for big words).
And I get it. I understand it. I see the point.
Sure you can tweet at friends about the sillier intricacies of your day, like what your had for breakfast or what your poop just looked like. But that’s just half-assing it. The value here is learning stuff. I’m following about a dozen accounts connected directly to NASA and therefore get tidbits of information that wouldn’t merit a news article. Or you can follow celebs… which sucks in a lot of cases, of course. But how about the intelligent items offered by Stephen Fry, or Stephen Colbert?
News organizations like the New York Times or the Economist will pipe up when they have an article of interest. Groups that handle my annual SciFi con too, they’ll send out up-to-the-minute updates over the convention so I know what’s up.
And that’s just following. The tagged stuff lets you find, or send, stuff regarding any item you want. All of this really clicked for me with the joking #wookieeleaks tag a few weeks ago. Suddenly everyone is making up Star Wars related headlines for laughs (needless to say I was one of the more prodigious posters).
I’ve been finding it a challenge, really. Cutting the crap I say down to 140 characters but without giving up on my own style of BIG WERDS has been surprisingly fun. But the important thing is that it finally makes sense. Not that it can really replace other social networking sites, but it’s a very new and very interesting kind of networking.
And no, I won’t share my Twitter nickname.