‘back in the Netherlands after a busy and fruitful week in the US. These trips will come to an end this month as my voluntary separation from the company takes effect on the 31st, but it’s been a good opportunity to make a round of friends, colleagues, and projects, bringing everything to a soft landing.
I’m wondering what it means to have an artists’ temperament? Creativity and passion, good, but arrogance and obsessiveness too?
Twitter is free Broadcast SMS: 140 characters that go to a list of followers, and you receive the postings of those you follow. It’s been just over a month since I took the Twitter challenge: a friend of mine in the UK said that he had ‘figured it out’, and it was time for me to get on board. I am drhamptn: I currently follow 22, am followed by 36, and wanted to share a few thoughts on the whole experience.
As a contributor, I’ve emulated the most interesting Twitterers that I follow, people who share daily flashes of insight. So, unlike Facebook Status where I say what I’m doing, Twitter has become a way to share what I’m thinking. I try to put down a good thought or intriguing observation a couple of times a day; I haven’t found the limited format to be a big constraint.
It’s interesting that I pick up a follower or two after each tweet. They are seldom people I know; I initially tried to edit off strangers, but understand that hanger’s on are okay and don’t create an obligation to follow in return. About half the people that I follow are friends: some post announcements or links, others the minutia of everyday life, all make for good reading. In contrast, the corporate sites are bad: I got spammed with hourly announcements from Seattle Mariners Baseball, and don’t necessarily need to know that the No Agenda podcast is being recorded NOW for distribution LATER.
Tweets have a narrative flow absent in blogs or status updates: a good example is the ongoing story of one friend’s travails building his new guitar. News tends to break faster on Twitter: it was my first source for alerting me to the incident in Apeldoorn on Queen’s Day. I’ve also enjoyed the links to pictures broadcast by classmates vacationing in Australia. But interactions have been rare: Replies and message exchanges are much more common on other sites.
I’m at a loss on how to control distribution of @replies in my twitter feeds. Dreadfully annoying; happens everywhere-suggestions welcomed.
The technical curve has been steeper than I expected. The TweetDeck reader is poorly documented and counter-intuitive: I’m happier with the Twitter aggregator widget in NetVibes. The distinction between @-public replies and D-direct messages escaped me and led to some embarrassing early mistakes. I did do some satisfying programming into the Twitter API, and successfully got code running against my blog and through FriendFeed onto Facebook.
Still, what is Twitter good for? Although I’ll continue to experiment with it and do daily posts, I’m not sure that it fills a niche for me. I have more friends and get more social interaction through Status updates on Facebook; if I want to think something through, I do it in the blog.
I like what my professional and consulting friends do with tweets to keep clients informed and updated. But, for a personal link to friends, Twitter, like Second Life, won’t evolve into my preferred avenue for social networking.
And my friends assure me that I do, indeed, have an artist’s temperament.