Understanding twitter

A couple of blog posts/articles I’ve been reading over have articulated more or less what I have been thinking about twitter lately.  I haven’t really used the service yet, but I’ve been ‘shadow following’ (for lack of a better term) several marketing type people and other friends in my area to try to better understand why it has the err…umm…following, that it has so far.  Because to me, on first impression at least, the thing seems redundant to your average internet joe.  In earlier entries I covered how some companies are using it to manage their online brand identities and to keep the conversation going with their customers – and of course, the same could be said of its purpose for your average internet denizen – after all, we are all supposed to have a personal brand that stands for who we are and what we do.  And I get that.  But I’m just struggling with why anyone would really want to know what I am doing all the time.  I mean, I’m really not that interesting, and while it may be true that others are more interesting, I don’t want to know what they’re doing 24/7 either.  I’ve already acclimated to Facebook and my friends with constant status updates (which is pretty similar to twitter) and I regularly ignore those – I mean, how much time does one have in this world?  Yes, I get that it is fun to stay in contact with friends and to know what they are doing.  But all the time?  Really?  Is that really what is going to make the world a better place?  Constant conversation between everyone?  Are we headed toward the hive mind after all?


I’m not done with twitter (I’ve barely even started using it).  I’m waiting to see if I can get into it on a personal level and make the thing work for me in some sort of powerful way, as David Pogue witnessed toward the end of his article in the New York Times. See, I get that it could be that good.  I get that it might be nice to have an army of followers who can help at your every beck and call.  Maybe I’m just used to physically writing things down (you know, pen and paper) when I’m curious about something and I want to explore it later.  Maybe I don’t need to blast out some request and have it answered immediately.  Maybe I’m already set in my ways (that would be kind of sad considering I’m not even 30 yet).  I like email, I like RSS and using google reader for my blog reading in the mornings over a cup of coffee, I like the google (anyone notice the launching of that service for the computer illiterate?  Seems funny, or offensive, or both, to do it that way, but hey, I’m laughing).  I can’t remember where now, I think maybe it was in Wired, but there was an article saying the blog is dead.  Well I say fuck that.  The blog is not dead.  The blog is here, and writing is here, and that is going to stay.  RSS definitely made following blogs a lot easier, and I absolutely love it, but I just can’t say that I will ever need someone to tweet to me that they have updated their blog so I can go and read it immediately – the world is full of plenty enough interruptions as it is, and very few things are so important that I would want my phone distracting me constantly.  Oh man, all this complaining is making me feel so old.

For similar thoughts, better written (and funny), go here.

Ideas, ways to correct me and make me understand, go in the comments.

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