Jun 22, 2009

[Social Networking] My Evolving Relationship With Twitter

Facebook sincronizzato con Twitter (via Twitte...Image by notoriousxl via Flickr

I've been using Twitter for some years now - since when exactly, I can't quite remember. I wasn't necessarily an early adopter but I was using it fairly early on when most people just talked about what they were eating or something. In terms of buyout offers / rumors, I figure it's been at least 10-12 times that Twitter has been rumored to be on the brink of being sold to one company or another.

Yes, you can really measure Twitter's lifespan that way, hehe.

With the recent Twitter boom because of the added attention given to it by celebrities like Ashton Kutcher, networks like CNN and even countries like Iran, it's interesting to note how come things have come for me in terms of how I use Twitter although it's not exactly life-changing just yet.

I first joined Twitter because of it's potential as a micro-blogging service, which was a pretty cutting-edge concept as a time, and of course to provide another angle of interaction for the Geeky Guide, which was also pretty young at the time. And thus I mostly used Twitter as a broadcast service for new updates and to let readers know whenever new entries are published.

I didn't have many friends on Twitter initially since most folks didn't get the point of the service compared to IM and I also wasn't into following supposed celebrity Twitter feeds since (1) they were dubious in terms of authenticity and (2) I'm really not that into celebrities. That still holds true until today although I've finally started following some of the more famous geeks like Will Wheaton, Neil Gaiman and Gina Trapani (she rocks!) in more recent months.

Without many friends joining Twitter and given I'm not that into finding strangers to talk to via Twitter, this level of Twitter interaction went on for some time. I'd have a few "@reply" exchanges here and there but those were few and far between.

I continued to treat Twitter as a broadcast service well until Plurk came along and eventually Facebook statuses became the sort of "in" thing after yet another Facebook redesign (and a failed attempt to buy Twitter perhaps?). That eventually led me to unify my status update broadcasts to Ping.fm and thus Twitter continued to remain a secondary service. Heck, I was talking and interacting with more people on Plurk given it has a more forum-style approach to micro-blogging.

The recent celebrity boom for Twitter has caused a lot more of my friends to join the service ranging from the people I value hearing from to those who take the service to the extreme and update every single score, move or play in major sporting events. Suddenly everyone is into micro-blogging or perhaps playing at being news reporters or sports broadcasters. The Twittersphere has gotten rather crowded as of late and I'm not sure I appreciate it fully.

What is nice is that I have more people to interact with and I have had some pretty good @reply conversations as of late along with some pretty interesting answers and solutions to open questions or on-going technical issues. The web is a wonderful place. I still spend more time addressing all the conversations I have going on Plurk given the number of geek friends that I have over there.

Even my technical usages of Twitter has changed over time. Before I used to take the time to visit my Twitter homepage a lot in order to get updates and that changed to using remote services like TwitterMail, then using the Twitter app on Facebook and now updating via Ping.fm but tracking updates via TwitterFox, my third party extension / application of choice. I don't see the need for an entirely separate program like TweetDeck, Tweetie or anything like that - seriously, there's only so much you can do on the service and if you need to manage multiple accounts and the like, then maybe you're getting a little too Twitter obsessed, hehe. Ah well, to each his own.

So what's your Twitter story? Are you another longtime user like me who's surprised with the recent surge of interest and therefore users? Or are you one of those who just recently joined the bandwagon and still don't quite get it? Feel free to share your stories in the comments or just email me directly - I've love to hear your stories and swap ideas!

And for the curious, here's where you can find me on the micro-blogging world - just be sure to introduce yourselves!


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4 comments:

Victor Stillwater said...

I just joined because... I don't know, something just clicked inside of me.

I make facebook status messages, but can't actually save those messages anywhere, so it seemed to me that if I wanted to use Twitter (or Facebook/Plurk) as a blog tool, then I'd have to use something secondary to add that function and force tweets on to my LJ. :)

rOckY said...

@Victor - I guess I like keeping my micro-blogging experience separate from my blogging experience, thus the forced mixing of both doesn't seem very meaningful to me.

Putting all your Twitter updates for the day into one post as a "entry" of sorts doesn't really result in some meaningful recounting of your day, but maybe that's just me. =P

Victor Stillwater said...

As you mentioned before, to each his own. I myself think of it like this: One day, when I decide to look back at a random entry, I'll realize that I actually did some pretty interesting stuff... and then maybe I'll be able to reminisce.

rOckY said...

@Victor - I have to admit that the concept of backing up status updates is interesting. I wonder if anyone has actually taken the time to create some sort of a Twitter back-up service, or something other along those lines. It's definitely something worth looking into...

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