Tuesday, December 15, 2009

To Twitter or not to Twitter and why?

The other day I overheard a conversation in the stationery store. It was between a woman who was standing in line to cash her items and a man who was hurriedly heading out of the door in that self-important I'm-a-modern-man-on-the-go kind of way.

Woman: Okay, we go meet again soon.
Man: Yeah, you can catch me on Facebook or Twitter.
Woman: What?
Man: I'm on Facebook and Twitter.
Woman: Twitter? I eh know dat one nah.

I was standing near the envelopes chuckling to myself. The man came across as feeling he was a celebrity, shouting for the whole stationery store to hear that he was "on Facebook and Twitter". Better yet that the woman didn't know what Twitter was. Before slipping back into the world, he was able to shout for the whole store to hear: "Twitter is the thing, man! You should try it!"

Facebook and Twitter make mundane things become worthy of being headlines:

Update: I am drinking water.

I've always resisted Twitter, but this weekend I signed up out of curiosity (see widget in sidebar) - perhaps inspired by the man in the stationery store. I don't even understand what I would use it for, how to use it or what it means to have followers or be a follower.

Does being a follower mean you are alerted whenever the other person writes something?

What if one has no followers? Will it be like that question: If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, then did it really fall?

Who knows. It might become useful. In the same way that I once wondered why people bother to blog. Maybe it will be like a little sub blog within a main blog. If something happens but I don't feel like doing a whole new blog post for the day ... or if I have a particular thought or bit of info that I feel like sharing ... I can just "Twit" it.


GirlBlue said...

we have entire conversations in 140characters or less and nothing as mundane as I'm drinking water

Sweet said...

That's hilarious...twitter and facebook 2 things that I don't have either.

My 10 year old daughter shouts to her sister..."SHUT UP & show me your tweets..." and they both burst into fits of laughter. It would be funny if it wasn't well you know...

Lynn Cohen said...

I do facebook because it allows me to keep up a bit in the lives of my grown children and my 16 yr old grand daughter. I still do not understand Twitter either.
I imagine a follower would be the same as having followers in blogland. People sign up and then are alerted when I blog a new post.
Listen to this vocubulary! Three yrs ago I would not have been able to understand what I just wrote!
Blog a new post? Duh? Huh? What's that mean? NOw I know. I guess I'll learn twitting to eventually. Maybe when the five year olds start theirs! Or Henry V does!

meadysmusings said...

Elspeth I've been using Twitter for some time now but as meadysmusings not my own name. I used it strictly to tweet the links back to my blog posts. I find it useful for that...I even have the Purple Elephant uploaded as logo and all...

Annie Paul said...

Like anything else Twitter takes getting used to, but once you take the trouble to do that the sky's the limit for what you can do with this absolutely amazing tool. It's like having your own broadcasting service so you can use it to promote your blog or any other product you want. you can also get people to follow you (which is the objective really)by tweeting info that they find useful/newsworthy/indispensable. I do this by following a number of tweeple who tweet about areas that interest me, visual art, India, postcolonial politics, music and am now well equipped to rebroadcast the most interesting ones. so that in a nutshell is what its about. using this powerful technology to say "eh eh i just et some doubles for breakfast" is like using a rolls royce to collect garbage--

It's also an indispensible tool for journalists something our media industry has been very late to wake up to. to date there are no jamaican journalists on Twitter but all the major Indian ones use it profusely...

anyway, its free and its easy--try it!

Elspeth said...

I see those who are on it are hooked. Lynn, I agree with you about the vocabulary.

Tammy-Jade™ said...

Lol@ your Twitter lingo.

You can't "Twit" but you can "Tweet" :-P

And, I agree with Annie Paul. Try it.

Elspeth said...

Ha ha
I mean h@ h@
Although ... if spoken aloud, that spells Hat Hat

I have a c@ called Jasper.

gillgodd said...

Hey Elspeth. Well, I've been considering whether to join in to the twitter thing but I find that I only have just so much time and space for expressing online. So if I facebook too much I don't blog, and if I email I don't facebook and if I post on couchsurfing I don't email and adding twitter may make it even harder to blog - my priority at the moment. Sigh.

Anyhow, just spent a few days off of fb, blog, email, internet, and it was so delicious. The contrasts of life are where it's at for me these days. Can't wait to be submerged in the online experience again for a while.

Great to touch base with you here.

Elspeth said...

True, Gillian. The contrasts of life. Sometimes I don't feel to be online and don't feel like adding anything that will make me be online more ... but there's always a choice.

spunkyduckling said...

I love twitter! Never had any interest in facebook so never joined. But now that I am on twitter I am thinking of joining facebook. Twitter is really a micro blog so for those who cannot upkeep a real blog they will find tweeting more satisfying. I know I do.
Of course there thousands of other things you can do with twitter like use if for making money, advertising, a mini search engine with real time reports, etc..