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  1.  (239.1)
    I have been using Twitter for the past few months as an alternative journaling tool. It is perfect for random thoughts, snapshots of what you are doing at the time and lacks major stress due to the 140 character limit. In addition to the personal snippets, Twitter also has a significant social component where you can follow people and they can follow you...

    I am following two people: one of which is a friend and the other is someone who added me out of the live "Public Updates" and we just happen to share interests. I enjoy being able to see what these people are doing somewhat, but it is far more of a "life snapshot" exercise to exorcise my urge to blog at length about my day-to-day life, relegating it instead to snippets in my blog's sidebar.

    Recently, more people have begun to follow me for no reason, and I wonder if this is a trend of spam Tweeters soliciting reciprocal tweet subscriptions or if I am just missing the whole point of the social aspect of this app.

    In a certain sort of way, I don't follow more people due to the fact that it is like public voyeurism... what is the fun in that? If I could follow people without being seen, that would be more interesting.

    Also, it seems impersonal to just add somebody; for example, if I were to add Warren... he would just say, "who the fuck is this" and it becomes a single-sided conversation; more similar to listening.

    I am not soliciting for people to follow me at my Twitter URL, I am soliciting the feedback of this community to their opinions of Twitter, its usefulness and how they use the social aspects of the service. I also wonder how many people just miss the point entirely.




    Thoughts
    •  
      CommentAuthorAriana
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2007
     (239.2)
    I think part of the beauty of Twitter is that it's so damned simple, it allows people to use it in whatever way suits them best. I go through phases where I think it's absolutely useless for me, and then I'm on the road and suddenly it's the easiest way to ping twenty people at once.

    I don't think there's any one point to miss -- people are using twitter for everything from events microblogging to events management to flash fiction to online hookups to news aggregation.
    •  
      CommentAuthorElana
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2007
     (239.3)
    I've noticed that I gain some followers after what might be construed as a particularly evocative Tweet. If you put something on the public timeline that people like. you may find yourself with some unsolicited followers.

    I'm sure the vast majority of random followers that don't come after any particular Tweet of mine, are just looking for a reciprocated follow.

    I'm not ashamed of "listening" on the Tweets of people I admire. I get Warren's Tweets, and Fred Gallagher's, and Wil Wheaton's. I read their work, and to me, this is just more writing of theirs for me to read. Twitter is intrinsically exhibitionist, so I am not going to feel bad about turning my head and looking!
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      CommentAuthorJoe Paoli
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2007
     (239.4)
    I'm pretty curmudgeonly when it comes to Twitter. I simply don't see the attraction of getting random one-sentence brain droppings from anyone. I see it could be useful if you want to send a mass text message, some kind of quick organizational thing or press release or marketing thing, but I can't imagine it being a part of my life.

    What am I missing about it? I'd really like to know.
  2.  (239.5)
    What am I missing about it? I'd really like to know.

    The answer for you may be:

    1) Nothing

    2) Microblogging your life

    3) The thoughts, dreams and hopes of everyone you know

    It also may be variations thereof. You have to try it as a writer, follower and inter-actor to understand it, and, even then, you still might not see the full potential or it may just not be for you...

    Honestly, I find it easier to blog on Twitter, although less substantive than a full blog. Then again, if you wanted to post short, pithy aphorisms or haikus, the constraints are already in the mix.
  3.  (239.6)
    "I'm pretty curmudgeonly when it comes to Twitter. I simply don't see the attraction of getting random one-sentence brain droppings from anyone... What am I missing about it? I'd really like to know. "

    You don't like hearing from your friends?
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      CommentAuthorturing
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2007
     (239.7)
    My only problem with Twitter is that it's yet another of a million different apps, none of which is used by all of my friends. For years now I've had a patchwork mishmash of various things all running at once just to keep tabs on different groups of friends who are all on different software. Things like Pidgin, which aggregates all the main IM programs into one, help somewhat, but there's always some new craze, it's hard to keep if you don't want to spend all your online time dealing with it. I've already given up on MySpace and Facebook entirely. (MySpace because I've always hated their whole interface and Facebook because I finally read their EULA.)

    I'd love to have just one application that did as many of or as few of these various communication methods as I wanted, in a flexible and extensible way. Goddammit, we're in the 21st fucking century, I want my communications system to be seamless and intuitive, is that too much to ask?
    I'm sure we'll get to that point soon, except there'll five different competing versions of it and my friends will be spread across all of them. Or one version, and it'll be owned by some company with a privacy policy worse than Facebook's...
    •  
      CommentAuthorJoe Paoli
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2007
     (239.8)
    @warrenellis
    You don't like hearing from your friends?
    My friends use phones, text messages, emails, and the occasional strippergram. I don't see what Twitter brings to the table that isn't already there.
  4.  (239.9)
    Hell of a lot cheaper than international text messaging, for a start. See, Twitter is text messaging.
  5.  (239.10)
    Well I'm following famous type people... you know, like our host here, Matt Fraction, Ben Templesmith, Brian Wood and the likes.

    It's not that I'm a hopeless fanboy, it's just that none of my friends have joined up to twitter. I'm the most nerdy/net-savvy so it's no surprise that I'm the first on there, but I would've expected at least one of my friends to follow me...
    • CommentAuthorhank
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
     (239.11)
    I add people from here pretty indiscriminately, however elsewhere I am fairly picky. I use it to break up my day, because it pops an IM window at random times usually when I am about to go BOFH on a user.
    •  
      CommentAuthorJoe Paoli
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
     (239.12)
    @warrenellis
    Hell of a lot cheaper than international text messaging, for a start. See, Twitter is text messaging.
    I am starting to understand.
  6.  (239.13)
    "I'm pretty curmudgeonly when it comes to Twitter. I simply don't see the attraction of getting random one-sentence brain droppings from anyone... What am I missing about it? I'd really like to know. "


    It's all about the ambient intimacy.
    • CommentAuthorrobb
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
     (239.14)
    twitter is one big glorious graffiti'd bathroom stall. or, there are applications using individual tweets and to create digital bathroom stalls for public view. i've seen presentations on user interface design where people ping'd the presentation in real time, displaying comments on the slideshow displayed directly beneath it. a very interesting and productive use of the snippet-length post. at least it was till it devolved to "html vs flash designer dance contest tonight, be there"

    reynolds: ambient intimacy

    the best application i've seen of ambient information is Ambient's Orb. "why can't information be as simple and noninvasive as a clockface?" if nothing else, it's a very pretty thermometer.
  7.  (239.15)
    the best application i've seen of ambient information is Ambient's Orb. "why can't information be as simple and noninvasive as a clockface?" if nothing else, it's a very pretty thermometer.


    I quite fancy the Nazbatag (or whatever it's called) for similar reasons - but the sex blogger got the invite to the press conference and free model, not me.

    Not jealous - honest.

    And not sulking.

    More seriously, ambient stuff is one way of sliding into ubiquitous computing, so it's one of those fields I'm interested in.
    • CommentAuthorJEFFSJ
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
     (239.16)
    The Chumby does the same thing as well.
    • CommentAuthorrobb
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
     (239.17)
    the rabbit's cute, if potentially annoying unless muted.

    i don't see the need for a chumby. it's laptop-lite. if you want that many functions, get a computer or fancy phone. plus, the keyboard looks like a mess. if you can hack it for micro-level purposes ok, but they advertise it's ability to do so much in such a little thing it's intimidating. i prefer the forced limitation of twitter or the orb, it prioritizes life while the rabbit and chumby keep blinking different versions of chaos.
    • CommentAuthortmofee
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2007
     (239.18)
    twitter is handy for my facebook status. There's some stupid BS that makes it unable to send updates via SMS from Australia. In twitter, there is no such problem. There's an app that syncs your twiiter post to your update automatically. Easy. Well, kinda...
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      CommentAuthorrfrancis
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2007
     (239.19)
    I follow a few "famous" folk (the ones using it to occasionally speak their mind, not the ones using it for naught but marketing -- some marketing is of course fine and to be expected), a few friends, several fellow podcasters... it seems to've caught on fairly large amongst podcasters and podsafe musicians, which can be nice enough. I'll say that I have notifications turned on to my IM for a very small subset of even those -- mostly friends, also, at the risk of seeming suckup, Warren, because his twitters are often amusing and I crave amusing IMs during my day. Anyway. I have an unreasonable (to me) number of followers and I stopped asking why or who a long time ago; I just don't reciprocate if I have no idea who they are. In the dark of the night I like to think they're listeners to my podcast who're watching for dirt about how the next show's coming along. They must be horribly disappointed, if so.
  8.  (239.20)
    I've been using Twitter for just a couple of weeks, and no-one else I know seems at all interested, which is a real shame. For now, I've got my blogs feeding to it, and it tweets on my Facebook profile, but I kinda want more people I know to use it. Or I should just start following people who appear at least slightly interesting.