Saturday, September 27, 2008

Twitter: Crack for the Attention Challenged

I finally broke down and got myself a Twitter account.  I thought "Well, everybody else has got one.  And I might miss some Rory Blyth wisdom that gets sent only to twitter, and not to"  In other words, I appeared to have been worried that something might happen on the Internet and I might not know about it. 

That kind of obsession reminds me of the time, back in the early days of the Internet, when I was on a Star Wars Newsgroup.  Remember those?  So being the Star Wars geek that I am, I posted a message that had some part of Empire Strikes Back quoted from memory.  That's dorky enough, but one member noticed that I had gotten one word wrong, and replied with a full two paragraphs of flame about it. 

I always think of that when I want to convince myself that I'm relatively normal.  I choose to not remember the return flame, which I'm pretty sure made use of the word "Waambulance".

Twitter is this bizarre stream of consciousness kind of thing.  After only one day on it, I've added a Twitter widget over to the right there, and set up my laptop near my chair so that I could periodically check if anybody had Twitted lately while watching TV.  It would be a shame if I were to miss one. 

The addiction, though, comes from the fact that posting on Twitter more closely resembles how my brain works than a blog does.  Maybe we're all like that, but since I'm still lacking the Psychology degree, I can only speak for myself.  I tend to think in small text snippets rather than large articles. I'm sitting around watching The Sarah Connor Chronicles instead of packing for my road trip tomorrow.  That seems like something the world needs to know!  Tweet!

I ran across a brilliant article that covers this phenomenon.  Since there's APIs for both Twitter and Messenger, I'll be planning the architecture for my messenger plugin which will allow me to keep up with twitter all of the time, on my drive back.  Why?  Because A) Twitter says it supports IM but I can't find anything that backs that up, B) I'm geeky like that, and C) since my car can't drive itself, I can't actually do any coding on the drive back.  It's tempting to try, though. 


  1. I had someone join twitter recently. She asked, "What should I do with it?" I was stuck for an answer. It's so oddly zen at times and "Whatever you want" seemed too flip an answer. I just went with, "Pimp your blog posts and watch what others do."

  2. Good plan. I'm still new enough to it that I'm not quite past the "I need to tell the world I'm about to go pee" stage. It'll balance out :D

  3. Twitter is: everything that is to small, passing, and inane for your blog, delayed instant messaging, sharing news when there is no one right there to say 'OMG' to... and yes, whatever the heck you want.