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Observations of a Twit

Well, having been a twit for a week or so now, I can understand the appeal ... but it also has its problems.

The good part is that it's sort of like being in a giant chat room with your friends and a handful of 'net-savvy celebrities, all just chit-chatting about whatever comes to mind. It's a nice way to "keep up" without having to jump through the logistical hoops usually required for direct person-to-person contact.

The bad part is all the stuff that you might expect to come with that, not the least of which is 50 people all going "OMG SCANDAL!" about every stupid thing that bubbles up in the media or on websites that cater to any given person's hotbuttons. You know those annoying e-mails that people forward without thinking, the ones asking for prayers/donations for a sick little girl in Utah or that spew political yakkety-yak? The ones your mother keeps sending you even though you tried to train her by sending her the Snopes article debunking every one over and over again? Yeah, Twitter can be like those, but in real-time.

So, it's a mixed bag. I'll keep hanging out there for a while, but I'd say there are even chances that at some point I'll just get sick of the whole thing and drop it.

-The Gneech


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 18th, 2009 01:04 pm (UTC)
I've really seen nothing appealing to Twitter at all. It's just another flavor of the same thing we have via LJ, Facebook or any other such thing. How many ways do we really need for people to talk to each other?
Sep. 18th, 2009 01:55 pm (UTC)
The one real advantage Twitter has over other methods of posting to the web is that it can be used more easily from a phone, so it can be incredibly useful for very limited applications. If you're attending an event, like DragonCon or AnthroCon, and the con has a Twitter feed, you can monitor the Twitter feed from your phone and get updates to schedule changes more quickly. It's also being put to very good use on campuses to update the students if there's an emergency. These are the limited circumstances where Twitter has an advantage over traditional posting.

Having said that, there is a lot of junk posted to Twitter, so it's a matter of being selective about what you follow to keep from getting buried in a landslide of tweets; same as with blogs, really.

I think it's useful for the above mentioned reasons, but it's going to experience a drop-off in use once the "Ooo, shiny!" wears off with the public.
Sep. 18th, 2009 02:11 pm (UTC)
I don't know about that service. I mean, like Lythandra said, I suppose I could see it being useful in the limited context of service announcements, but for most of my life, I've always been looking for conversation that gives me different, insightful points of view, connects me to people, or enhances my admittedly pitiful creative thinking.

From most of what I've seen on twitter or Facebook, most of these posts involve small "I'm hungry and had tuna for lunch", or in the case of Facebook, twelve forms to fill out in order to access a poorly written webapp that tells you that your friend had tuna for lunch, what celebrities ate that at the same time, and what it says about you as a person! I just don't feel any real connection to people with that. So I think I'll stick to browsing people's livejournals, ever-vigilant for insight, friends and personal advancement!

Oh! But if you're feeling avant garde, sir, there's always woofer! (http://woofertime.com/) twitter's big brother, that only allows postings of 1,400 characters or more!
Sep. 18th, 2009 03:49 pm (UTC)
The best use I've experienced (rather than heard of) for Twitter has been for a web site operator to report that he knows the site is having trouble and is Doing Something About It. That makes the outage much easier to deal with. It's not the outage itself that's such a problem, but the lack of information that usually accompanies such outages.
Sep. 18th, 2009 05:54 pm (UTC)
Oh, agreed that it's useful in certain cases mate - but I just don't make too many connections on it socially, it seems! I mean - when you see a gas station that says "follow us on twitter" (Gas prices I suppose?) Or someone's garden shed - yes, this is a real feed - your faith in humanity dies a little. And I'm pretty sure most entries on the shed feed were bunk, as he mentioned a raccoon sleeping in it "all night" and to my knowledge, they're nocturnal!
Sep. 18th, 2009 02:56 pm (UTC)
I finally got on Twitter for a few reasons.

1. Friends of mine were mentioning things that I were interested in, on short notice, and I never heard about it. "Hey, we're playing Rock Band after dinner, come over and play!"
2. Companies I cared about were announcing/talking about their products in a manner not replicated on a web/rss feed.
3. Half of Pittsburgh is on it, I swear.

So far it's not been too bad. There is a bit of noise/signal ratio, I've pruned off a few people, but it helps me keep track of things on my new shiny phone. Dropping people should be the first line of defense, instead of just dropping the whole service outright :(
Sep. 18th, 2009 04:31 pm (UTC)
Lythandra has a point about its usefulness when on the move, but for the most part it's just blogging for people with short attention spans.
Sep. 18th, 2009 05:15 pm (UTC)
What an appropriate description. :) I'll have to remember that one. I was going to leave a long comment, but you've really just summed it up in one sentence right there.

Sep. 19th, 2009 04:04 am (UTC)
Brilliant! Let's destroy twitter by throwing shiny things in front of twitter users! n_n
Sep. 18th, 2009 06:57 pm (UTC)
I'd mostly been using Twitter as a way to feed statuses to Friendfeed, where the actual interaction takes place. Lately though, I've been having roughly the same amount of conversation on Twitter and Friendfeed since more people I know have joined Twitter.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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