Wednesday, March 04, 2009


OK, so there's been a lot of buzz the last little while about Twitter. The web is all a-twitter over Twitter. And now the mainstream media are getting into the Twitter phenomenon.

What is Twitter? It's another social networking site. It centres around the question, "What are you doing?" You're only allowed 140 characters to tell everybody what it is you're doing. For some people that's apparently enough. In case you're wondering, the first paragraph of this post is 180 characters. Clearly it forces you to be concise, or to use short forms. In other words, it contributes to the development of IM language.

Hmm, lemme see if I can rephrase:
OK, lotsa buzz bout Twitter. MSM getting into the act. (55 characters)

Celebrities have begun to use it. Coldplay, for example. Several of the talk show hosts I listen to are using it to let people know what's coming up on their shows.

The idea is that you connect with your friends, or your "friends" and these friendly friends can "follow" when you post a Tweet (that's Twitterspeak for Message) it gets displayed on their Twitter page so they have instantaneous knowledge of what you're doing or long as you say it in 140 characters or less. You can tweet or be tweeted from your computer or your smart phone. (Personally, I'm still waiting for them to develop a camera that also acts as a telephone...)

Sample Tweet from E=MC2

Now that's a lotta punch in one little pack. What are you doing? Redefining physics.

I think it's probably been two years since I first heard about Twitter. But only today did I go to the site to have a look. Not particularly interested.

I hear Facebook is so passé. Email is of course Neanderthal. (Perhaps if the Neanderthals had had email, they might still be around...) Blogs like this one way too cumbersome.

But I don't think I need another social networking site. I have enough trouble ignoring all the Facebook friends and LinkedIn friends and Plaxo partners and Grouply groups, not to mention failing to respond to emails, without having to worry about yet another response to the question, "What are you doing?"

What am I doing?

Damned if I know, and I'd like to keep it that way.

(2,234 characters, not including these...)

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the explanation on tweeting.

I am not a tweeter.

Although I have been called a twit.

Instant communication. You know, I remember spending hours tying up the family telephone as a kid... maybe that's the same thing as the social networking.

Did you read that people are being asked to give up their computers and their social networking, their tweeting I guess, for Lent?

Help! I've written and I can't get up!