Friday, May 04, 2007

Why Twitter???

Anne (aafromaa) asked for a reason to try twitter. Kevin (k1v1n) answered - because it is fun.

Like Anne, I couldn't see a compelling reason to use Twitter. But, after a couple weeks of using it and a late night discussion with Robert Neely, I finally figured it out - at least a reason for me.

I don't have much face-to-face contact or even telephone contact with most of the people that I work with. Usually it is IM, email and I might see them a couple times a year. When we do get together, I don't know much about what's going on in their life - either personal or professional outside of the project or problem we're working on.

Twitter lets me maintain or improve a connection with my friends. It is a social networking tool. It's amazing how nice it is to know what my friends are doing or thinking right now. It's like a little reminder to think about them and make a mental connection. I hope that when they post, they occasionally think of me.

Another neat use of Twitter was when Beth (bnr1) twittered that she was getting ready for an online class she was leading. It reminded me (I hadn't forgotten Beth) that it was almost time to connect. So, this can also be a marketing tool! Beth uses it effectively to remind me that she is working on the next class - a week or so out.

I was trying to explain Twitter to my wife - she looks at me like I've lost my mind. But she works in an office and has that social network in the face-to-face environment, so she doesn't need twitter - yet. When more of her friends that she hasn't seen in years get on, then I'm sure she'll join in too.

1 comment:

Anne Adrian said...

John,
You are finding the same value in Twitter that I have found. Twitter is a way to build and maintain relationships between the times that we (friends) meet face-to-face. The next time I see some of my Twitter friends I have can relate to them better. I can ask them how successful a project was that they said they were working on, or I can ask them about their families.

It is also one way for the kids to keep up with me. If they get a Twitter message that says I am in a meeting, they will know I am unavailable.

Additionally, I can see where Twitter can be used for specific purposes and occasions. I recently saw a Twitter message from a conference that said something similar to "A digital camera was found in the Washington room. Check with the registration desk if it's yours." John, do you want to ask ACE/NETC to open twitter account?

Because any twitter message is no more than 140 characters, I am not too worried about the overwhelming amount of information through Twitter.

Though I have not tried it Kevin's widget, I like the idea of creating feeds for a subgroup of twitter friends.

You are right, I have gotten some of those "Why?" looks when I tell them about twitter. So far, 3 of the 4 people I asked to be my twitter friends have accepted.
Anne