Thursday, 23 July 2009

Why Twitter is useful to me

About 2 years ago I succumbed to joining Facebook. A friend had sent me an invitation a couple of months earlier. I'd done nothing with it, but in one of those "Get my Inbox to zero" moments, I stumbled across the email.

Nothing to lose I figured, so I took the plunge. Before long all my real friends had become my Facebook friends, and a few others. I'd become friends again with a few people from school back in the UK. Then I had sheep thrown at me, got poked, knew who was playing MafiaWars, and was able to access album upon album of baby photos.

OK, so Facebook is great way of keeping up with what others are doing when we're all so busy. It's also fantastic for people who want to drop the "I've got some news, but won't tell" type of status updates.

So what did Facebook add to my life, that I didn't have before? Pretty much nothing. It didn't enrich any relationships, and didn't create any new ones. In fact, I think it made me lazy. It's far easier to send someone a message, or write on their wall, than to actually make real contact.

I can't remember what was the catalyst to joining Twitter. Perhaps it was just curiosity. Somewhere I'd read that many commentators were moving from writing and maintaining blogs to contributing through Twitter. A blog was something I'd managed two posts of in 2007 after attending a conference, but it had gone no further.

A few months later and Twitter has allowed me to follow the Blackboard conference in Washington in fairly real time, to make contact with Blackboard support staff in DC. TVNZ news headlines and CNN news headlines are delivered in realtime. Then there's the assortment of 'celebrities'. Some are worth following for the gossip, others make intelligent and interesting contributions. The professional nuggets are worth their wait in gold. This one ( from is great.

So far, no real relationships have come from Twitter. I can see that there is potential. It's a place like-minds can meet, on a level-playing field.

Posted via email from Andy's posterous

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