When it comes to trends, I’ve always known to be on the tail end. Twitter has been around since March 2006, and despite all the pokes and points from Columbia Journalism School’s faculty to get on the tweeting bandwagon, my rebellious heart refused to adopt the new and strange.
Twittering involves short 140-character messages posted on your profile page. Unlike facebook’s ‘status updates,’ Twitter allows any one with an internet connection to ‘follow’ your updates. Some use it as an RSS feed — such as ‘experiments with spaghetti recipes,’ for example — while others use it as a big, flung-open window into their lives.
In short, Twitter can be irritatingly mundance, or feverishly addictive.
Imagine sending a text message through your cell phone to all your friends. What it says need not be relevant to all of them, nor does it have to be directed at a single person. It could read as simple as “I’m eating honey-glazed chicken for dinner.” Too much of that, and it becomes an itch you want to get rid of, if you’re receiving dozens of such messages from your friends.
But combine that with the enormous potential of useful information feedback and there’s something worth twitting for. For example, I’m subscribed to a twitter feed called “The Media Is Dying.” Its purpose is self-explanatory in its title, but their feeds are mostly tip-offs over who is leaving what positions at publications and news outlets around the U.S. For someone trying to write my way into such an industry, these news bites are invaluable and otherwise unavailable if not for Twitter. Facebook is useless in this regard, and I don’t need a website so get such information. It’s probably too much hassle for the controllers of The Media Is Dying to even code up a dedicated website or blog. Just a snappy twit and everyone is all the wiser.
I don’t twit (or blog here) as much as I would like. In the right hands, it’s a powerful tool. Right now I only have three followers on Twitter, but do check out my twits. If it interests you, follow me!
And leave a comment below with your username if you have Twitter!