Thursday, July 28, 2011

Why do I Twitter?

That site is awesome. Seriously, go read it, and then come back.


Done? Good. Great stuff, right? But in and of itself, not a reason to go around stalking following people on Twitter.

Since 2001, I've been frequenting The Ozone Asylum forum on and off. On there, Jive started a thread on this in 2008, and I went ahead and signed up. But other than some tweets from Bugimus (@bugimus) on what he had planned for the weekend, there wasn't really much there to interest me. (Not that Bugs wasn't having interesting weekends back then. :) )

Fast forward to earlier this week, and someone mentions @shitmydadsays to me. So I read it, and I damn near died laughing. My endorphin hazed brain then hit on something profound, at least for me.

Twitter is really just a way to listen to interesting people. But the beauty of it is that you get to decide what's interesting.

I read Daring Fireball almost religiously, and I think I'd John Gruber would be a pretty interesting guy in real life. So I follow his Twitter stream. Simple as that.

When I'm browsing the internet, and I come across an interesting blog post where the author has a Twitter, I'll follow him for a few days. If I don't like his stream, I unfollow. Again, pretty simple.

But then, some of my friends on Facebook use it like broadcast SMS. "Hey, let's do pizza tonite. Meet at Pizza Hut."

Twitter in Plain English is good, but is a bit narrow in scope. Then again, it's hard to explain twitter to someone who doesn't already know what it is.

So, here's a quick way to get started. Sign up, find some people that interest you and start following. Don't be afraid to reply to their posts. I know a guy who tweeted Mariah Carey for a year just to get a response.

If you're from the South Pacific, it's a great way to connect with islanders from all over the world. Search for the hash tag #teampoly and start following people on there.

Short version:

  1. Follow a bunch of people
  2. Reply to the one's you find interesting
  3. There is no step 3