Thursday, February 21, 2008

Why I use Twitter

Well, if I expect you guys to use Skribit every now and then to ask questions, I ought to answer them. One of the more recent ones (since I totally have no clue about affilate urls) is asking a simple question: Why do I use Twitter?

On the surface, Twitter makes up a lot of things that don't make sense, and yet Twitter is probably the one application I'd use even if I wasn't blogging, webcomicing, or trying to have some other sort of Get-Rich-Scheme going on. Hopefully I'll hit most of the good points as to why.
  • On an ideal internet, there would be no wasted / duplicated efforts.
    I have the forum accounts, the blog, the webcomic, Project Wonderful, Entrecard, Del.icio.us, Bloglines, etc. etc. etc... on my ideal internet, all of these various accounts would work together where even if I was only able to keep up with a few, I could still provide everyone else who sees those other alternate accounts a way to tell that I was still putting out fresh content, everything interlinked with everything else (at least to the point that I'd be willing to let it link up), and in doing so I hopefully would be able to lead people towards the parts of my internet experience I take the most pride in (i.e. the stuff I actually put effort into). Twitter is compatible with many different accounts I already use (and with things like TwitterSig, can even be brought into the forums as well), so I can use Twitter for sweet, fresh content across many accounts.
  • Twitter lets me keep up with everyone else.
    Dad keeps threatening (jokingly) to get a twitter account of his own just so he can respond, and strangely the idea doesn't spook me like it should. Part of it is 'probably' because I wouldn't mind convincing a few meatspace folks to start using twitter anyway, but also because it allows me to link together more systems. By having only one system that needs updating (Twitter) I can still have new content on the blog, or on facebook, or whatever other systems will let me integrate Twitter in with their stuff, so they know I've not completely abandoned X account.
  • I don't need to be online to Twitter.
    One of the real things that made twitter take off for me was being able to post from my cell phone. In fact, it was designed with this in mind, so it's no surprise that it's one of Twitter's strengths. I can go to events, parties, and conventions and be able to post about events almost as they happen. This is pretty much what I did with Furry Weekend Atlanta this past week, and as I said before, the further my twitter posts go, the more useful they are.
  • Twittering is Trivial.
    Writing blog posts is hard. Drawing Comics is hard. Coming up with utterances of 140 characters or less is easy. Hence why it makes an ideal candidate for being the most updated of the available systems; since it takes almost no time at all, posting lots of stuff in a very small time frame is easy, and likewise, posting only a little bit over lots of time is also pretty simple. Also, nobody really cares if you're being off-topic on Twitter or not, because it's a fleeting medium; anything you say will be overwritten later (even if it IS archived, people have to want to dig back to see it)! Hence...
  • Twitter has a very loose structure.
    Post whatever sounds good. Post an interesting link, or a witty thought, or a funny thing you overheard. Chances are good people will like it given that they like you enough to follow you, so why not? You don't have to worry about theming, and because there's only 140 characters worth of stuff to say at any given time, you can't hold long dissertations.
Now, some things make this easier than others. Mostly this means one of two methods besides posting from the twitter page:
  1. SMS messaging (because it means I don't HAVE to be at my computer to post).
    Note: You want to make sure you have a generous texting plan if you're this serious about this route. It's way too easy to twitter too much when you're on the road with little else to do.
  2. Twitterbar (A Firefox extenstion that allows me to post from my address bar, so I don't have to go to the webpage to post). This is more "So I don't have to interrupt my train of thought" type twittering.
There are lots of extensions/applications/mashups designed for Twitter, so you can pick and choose which one is most useful for your internet experience.

Hopefully this explains what possesses a girl like me to use a system that somehow encourages her to post about strange smells of old ravioli and floating cigarette butts. Even if it doesn't, consider this: Twitter lets me keep up with everyone else's stuff, including things like reminding people to sign up for BarCamp Atlanta. A perfectly good geek gathering would have happened right under my nose if not for someone posting about it on Twitter just in time for me to sign up.

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4 Comments:

At February 21, 2008 at 10:53 PM , Blogger jack said...

Great post! Captures a lot of the reasons I like Twitter.

Jack Dorsey
Twitter

 
At February 22, 2008 at 10:12 AM , Blogger Haley said...

Thanks for the tip on the Twitterbar. I'm off to install it now. :)

 
At February 25, 2008 at 8:41 PM , Blogger Rachel Keslensky said...

Twitterbar is indeed awesome. Shame they stopped development on it, but as simple as it is, it doesn't need to be much more than it already is.

 
At March 7, 2008 at 12:53 AM , Blogger Rob said...

Thanks for using Skribit! With the release we delivered last week, people who make suggestions will receive notification when you blog about one of their suggestions (and record this through skribit.com)

We hope this improves the feedback loop between you and your readers!

 

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