Evan Williams, the creator of Blogger, the host of this blog, went on to also create Twitter. I just joined. That's right, I'm a-tweetin'.
I was anxious at first, like back then. It's another new thing. New language, conventions, tricks, etiquette. New people. Or, well, so far, old people more instantly. Which is helping me feel at ease already. See, the cool thing about Twitter is that it's more interactive than blogging. Called micro-blogging, it's basically the same thing, but with a couple really cool differences.
ProBlogger's Rowse compared it to a dinner party conversation. You can whisper (send direct messages), chat with one person more openly so people can listen in (send @ messages), or you can just talk and see who's listening (send straight updates). The last one is the closest to regular blogging and is the basis for the site. You can use up to 140 characters to say what you're doing, ask a question, share a link, yell at the world, whatever. People who follow you will see those updates. They can then respond either by starting a conversation using @ messages or by sending you basically an instant message.
Then if a bunch of people are on at the same time, group conversations can develop. Technologically, a neat thing about Twitter is that you can receive and send tweets from a cell phone. So people can be anywhere doing anything and still be involved. It's like text messaging, but more public. Of course you can keep your updates private too, so only people you know can see them.
Part of Twitter's importance lies in its ability to integrate with other social networking sites. Facebook, blogs, and others can be tied to a Twitter profile, both sending and receiving updates. I haven't even begun to explore how it all can work together, but it will be cool. The fluidity of the update timeline and the amount of people following people means a much faster and wider spreading of information.
Also, you can search the tweet timeline. So you can catch up with someone's updates, follow past conversations, or look for other people interested in what you are too. Or you can find out if anybody's tweeting about you (or me, in this case).
It's a little overwhelming, and I'm not sure how it'll work into what I do online to promote my art or how I'm going to figure out how much time to devote to it. For now, it's wide open though, and I'm excited to reach out to people in a new way and hopefully bring them into the fold here.
One thing, it's gonna force me to be more concise. 140 characters! Can he do it?
SOLD - Eric Clapton 11/21/08