Why Twitter is Awesome and Everyone Should Use It

Also In This Issue: Why My Twitter Updates Show Up Here As Entries On My Blog

A couple of months ago I jumped into twitter, and I liked it so much that I soon began looking for a way to incorporate it into this blog, which at the time was still unknown and in the process of being built.  Unlike, um, now?  I’ve had a couple of friends and would-be readers of this blog tell me they didn’t know what the deal was with twitter and didn’t understand why I have twitter updates on my blog.  So here are my best answers.

For those who don’t know, twitter is a little web 2.0 service that lets users publish brief comments, often referred to as microblogs.  There are numerous other microblogging formats, but twitter is a nice clean and simple one that works well, and as far as I know it was also one of the first.  Ostensibly, every twitter update is supposed to answer the question “What am I doing?,” but most people, including me, do not slavishly answer that question with every update.  An update has a maximum limit of 140 characters, which usually works out to a couple of sentences if you push it. This forces a concise brevity.  It helps comedic timing.  It forces others to read between the lines.  It usually just enough to get you intrigued.

You can and would want, of course, to follow the twitter updates of others, and when you log in to your twitter page, your updates and their updates are all racked up there together, with the most recent updates on top.  So you can visit twitter once every day or two, or every week or two, and quickly see some of the things that your friends and family members have been doing and thinking in the past little while.  I like it because I feel like the friends I follow are around and I kind of know what’s going on with them, even if I don’t see them very often or talk to them on the phone every day.  All the time I am thinking of other friends and family members that I wish were on twitter because I want to know what’s going on with them and I know they would have funny and interesting little comments to make.  A random blog entry that I happened upon one time compared twitter updates (as well as chat, to which I’ve never really been converted) to the kind of quick, useful and/or fun interactions that happen in an office of cubicles (like where I work), in which people pop their heads up or around for a minute to say hi or ask a question or just spaz out for a minute, and then after a moment everyone gets back to work.  That’s twitter.  It’s brief and informal, yet somehow intimate.  It doesn’t take more than thirty seconds to write an update, and it doesn’t take more than a minute or two to catch up on all your friends’ updates.  Much easier than reading or writing massive blog entries, like this one.

I do admit that twitter is not entirely unlike Facebook’s status updates, but it is a more pure and direct service for making concise or pithy statements about your thoughts and doings in the world, and it is much easier to find out what is really truly up with your friends, rather than how many Ghostbusters II movie quizzes they took yesterday or who gave them a virtual Dwight Shrute bobblehead.  No one on twitter will invite you twenty times to become a vampire ninja and join them in the fight against the pirate werewolves.

So, I think I’ve shown why I feel that twitter is awesome; but why is twitter on my blog?  Well, I started to  address that in a prior entry, but basically it is here because I like my twitter updates and thought they would make nice little breaks between the longer, more essay-like blog entries here at the Froz-T-Freez.  I also thought I would use them as springboards for longer entries, but so far that has only happened once or twice.  I thought it would make for a more steady stream of content, as I’m really irregular with keeping up on things here.  I thought it would be fun to practice some verbal brevity, as twitter has reminded me that you don’t always need to write paragraphs to express something well.

And with that, I’m going to sleep now.  Goodnight.

0 thoughts on “Why Twitter is Awesome and Everyone Should Use It”

  1. Andy,

    I thought I had written something about the text message updating feature, but I guess I inadvertently deleted that sentence before I posted, so thanks for bringing that up.

    I tried that twitter-to-facebook updating thing for a while, but the way I wrote a lot of my twitter updates made them not make sense in the “Joshua is…” format of Facebook. Also, it gave the false impression that I was on Facebook all the time, which is not an impression I want to give.

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