Thursday, February 26, 2009

Twit-like Twittering in the Twilight

Primarily in response to No. 634's post about twitter.

Well, what *I* wanna know is not so much how twitter works, or what client is best, or what it's for, because I think that is easily found and quickly understood. What *I* want to know is: What method is best suited for what purpose?

For example, ABC News did a little twitter expose the night after Obama's speech, to explain twitter to us, but most importantly, why bother? Because DURING Obama's speech, a LOT of the senators and congresspeople were sending tweets while sitting there in the room with Obama. ABC News thought it was interesting (as did I) that all of these people had their heads bent down with their thumbs and fingers clicking away ON THEIR PHONES, sending out tweets about what they were hearing, thinking or who they were seeing...there were a lot of star-struck tweets such as: OMG...Justice Ginsberg is here or whatever (something like that). We know WHAT it is and what it does...but by what means? In the case of the senators/congresspeople, they were using their PHONES. Not to follow anybody else's conversation or to follow a thread or whatever you call those #text terms, but simply to post in a very unidirectional manner. They weren't actually listening/reading anybody else's tweets, they weren't gathering info, taking anything IN (like that's some big surprise! ha). What they were doing was sending info OUT to the world. So that tells me how twitter is used in that situation.

That's the kind of detailed info i seek. Not from you personally, as in privately, but from you as in, how you as a generic Everyman/Everyperson law student, perhaps, is likely to use it, when in class, when back at the dorm, etc. My computing habits differ depending on context and purpose, so I'll do one thing at work and another at home. Well, actually, I'll do the same thing, but use different approaches, different methodologies, in each place.

Anyway, that is what I've been trying to gather more info about. And I disagree with that twitter video that says the primary idea is to answer "What are you doing?" The primary question is actually "What are you paying attention to/reacting to right now?" People tweet much more often about what they're thinking than about what they're actually doing. Who cares what you're doing? Instead, tweet about what's on your mind, and send me that tiny url! Right?


teasinglydiverse said...

Those are good questions! I definitely fall into the category of "what am I reacting to right now?" in my twitter usage. Sometimes it's law school related, sometimes entertainment (I kind of "livetweeted" the Oscars) general I "tweet" things that I don't think deserve an entire blog post. That's just my own style though.
I've been thinking a lot lately about Twitter etiquette...maybe I'll stuff that in the potential future blog post file. :)
Oh, and re: the twitter application discussion in the previous comment section...I use Twhirl and like it...but maybe I'm weird because I *prefer* the web. Because then, when I'm on Twitter I'm on it...with Twhirl I feel like it's a CONSTANT presence. But I do admit that the little bugger is mighty handy!
end world's largest blog comment here. :) said...

I think the NYT blog article might be helpful:

The short answer is that a twitter is no different than a blog.

Some people blog very little but read widely, whereas others blog a lot and don't read around as much.

Also, some blogs (and twitters) have clear goals: I want to sell my product, I want to "network", etc. Others just express the interest of the individual, ie, baking, knitting, rock music...

So (like a blog) twitter is whatever you want it to be for you.

In the NYT article there's an example of a woman who wrote "I'm eating a sandwich" every day. That's what she felt was tweet-worthy. And that's totally fine. It all depends on what your objectives are!

Cee said...

personally, I don't get Twitter. It makes no sense to me. Why would I want to write a string of one sentence comments throughout my day. I'd rather enjoy the moments of the day and maybe reflect on certain things at the end or when I have a point to make. I just dont see the appeal nor do I understand how it works. I could just be lame though.

gudnuff said...

teasinglydiverse - nowhere near world's longest comment...and even if it were, I'd be proud to have it! And THANK YOU for tweeting about the oscars, btw, because you are one of the few people whose tweets I allow to go through to my phone, and since I wasn't using twhirl yet, that was the only notification I got that tweets were happening, and because I bothered to take a peak at your tweet (sounds naughty, doesn't it?), at 9:30pm on Sunday, YOU clued me into the fact that I had completely forgotten to tune in to the Academy Awards, which was completely unintentional and I would have missed them entirely if it hadn't been for your livestream tweeting. So thanks! (And again, that's the kind of thing I mean when I ask, "How do you use twitter?"...because so much of my life happens away from the computer...and twitter seems like such an of-the-moment experience, it seems counter-intuitive to me that so many people tweet from the web).

Jansen - You've called me out on my laziness. Fine, alright, I'll read the NYT article. Like I should have after/while reading your post. I am busted. And thanks for all you do webwise. It's inspiring! I'd love to know more about your web habits, like how much time you spend on those videos and how you edit them, etc. It's all pretty expletive cool. (trying not to swear as much, for some reason)

Cee - the one notable exception regarding how I was tipped off that I was missing the Academy Awards, I agree with you that I'm not sure...yet...whether twitter fits in with what the web does for me, what I need from it, what I want from it, how it best serves my purpose. I guess the sticking point is knowing and feeling comfortable about one's web-related purpose. Your comment shows you have that clarity, and it also makes me realize I need to find it for myself. Thanks!

gudnuff said...

Okay, No. 634, I just read the NYT article. Great article! Thanks for the link. Lots of thoughts swarming around. Guess I've got some more post fodder. Always a good thing.

Hyphen Mama said...

I'm with Cee, I don't get it. Do I want to read some woman who tweets every day "I'm eating a sandwich"? I feel like I'm missing too much of real life while blogging, I'm positive I'd be sucked so far into other people's twitter lives that I'd never see the light of day in my own life.

Trannyhead said...

I think Twitter is also fun because you can interact with people whose blogs you read even if they're "famous" bloggers who have huge followings. Or with politicians or celebrities or whatever who are following you while you follow them. Anyway, I think it's fun. :-D

Patois said...

The sandwich-eating woman is one I wouldn't follow. I get a kick out of following the people I get a kick out of.

JD Maybe said...

I just cant do twitter? Maybe I'm old? Anyway, I had to change the link to my blog here it is...'