Do you twitter?
No I’m not a perv. For the uninitiated, twittering is the next/most recent incarnation of communication.
How does one explain twitter? Have you ever been to a party or a gathering and had a multitude of conversations going on around you and been following and participating in them too? Imagine doing that with a much larger group of people all over the world in almost real time. Twitter allows you to follow or be followed by anybody who uses Twitter. As a user, you make small posts in 140 characters or less that provide some form of update, question, comment, response, etc… You can post your updates from a mobile phone using text messaging, or a mobile twitter client. You can also submit a twitter update (called a tweet) from the Twitter website or a desktop twitter client on your computer.
In a nutshell, Twitter is cool.
Twitter provides you with an ability to reach out and to interact with ANYONE famous or otherwise. For example, some of the famous people I follow on twitter are:
- Shia Lebouf
- Wil Weaton
- Greg Grunberg
- Levar Burton
- Brent Spiner
- Tina Fey
- Jimmy Fallon
- Brea Grant
- John Cleese
- Lance Armstrong
I have sent messages to many of them and in some cases have received a response. I don’t expect a response from celebrities because of the sheer number of people who may be responding to them at any given time so it’s pretty cool when I do get one. By following a celebrity you have ‘unlisted’ opportunities to interact with them. Recently Levar Burton was waiting for his plane in Phoenix and posted a tweet to anyone who was available and in the airport that they could join him for drinks. Unless you were following Levar on twitter, you would not have that opportunity. Kind of like a secret club. That’s cool
Twitter also allows you to ‘meet’ all kinds of people in your area whom you may have never met otherwise. By following some people that my friends follow, I have been able to build a unique twitter feed of some very dynamic and interesting people. My world has been expanded by simply following what these people talk about and seeing what they do. There are only a couple of degrees separating us all and I feel like I have grown simply by being able to participate in their communications. I have been able to lend ‘quit smoking’ support to someone I have never physically met. I originally typed strangers but they don’t seem like such strangers since I’ve been interacting with them. Looking at you brundle_fly 😉
Twitter has also illustrated some interesting ways of connecting the dots on who knows who. I had an opportunity to meet Tom Purves at a social ‘x-camp’ gathering last year. Being in the wireless industry, it was great to meet the guy behind Wirelessnorth.ca. Late last year, I received an email about an event being hosted a Ontario College of Art and Design for the launch of the Mobile Experience Innovation Center (MEIC) but was unable to attend due to short notice. I was able to find out that Michelle Perras was the co-ordinator for this initiative and started communicating with her via email and phone. I have never met Michelle in person. I follow both Tom and Michelle on twitter and was able to connect the dots that they both live with the same dog. A very cute dog named Dingo. This type of connection may have eventually come out during a conversation far down the road but by following the threads on twitter it presented itself with very little effort. That’s cool.
Twitter has also provided an opportunity to discover and see the birth of some very exciting grassroots events organized by some pretty motivated and smart people. A couple of these events/initiatives are listed here.
There are many other events that are ad-hoc or focused in nature and by participating in twitter with some of these people I have been able to watch them emerge. HOHOTO was a hugely successful event last Christmas that went from ideation to full event execution in a matter of weeks with an initial goal of raising a few thousand dollars for The Daily Bread Food bank but with an ultimate total of $25000 raised. This event was started entirely on twitter and participation was voluntary and the efforts of the many participants helped to organically pull together a massively successful event in record time. Twitter provides an opportunity to expand your perspective that otherwise would not have been possible or at the very least, a difficult endeavor.
What do you/will you twitter about?
Who do you/will you follow?
Who follows/will follow you?
What are you waiting for? First Hit’s Free. (it’s always free)
- Twitter.com – The main twitter site where you can register for your free account.
- tweetdeck– Desktop twitter client
- twhirl– Desktop twitter client.
- spaz– Desktop twitter client.
You can follow me on Twitter here