Friday, April 25, 2008

And Then There Were 1,475,475,197,921.

So, as stated before, my new obsession is Twitter. I've been using it a lot of late for ... a purpose I'm not so sure of. Only two of my friends in Madison have Twitter accounts, but they never USE them. Both can't remember their log-in name OR password, so they are locked out.

I subscribe to some of my favorite tech journalists' feeds and a couple of "pen pals'," if you will. I have their tweets update to my cell phone and I get close to 30 in coming tweets in a single day. None of the information applies to my life, I'm not even 110% sure WHY i even follow them.

Maybe it's because I understand how cool Twitter can be when you have the right sort of network and I just really want to use it. I want to be a part of it.

There are however, some ... interesting things? maybe? That I see happening on Twitter. I say interesting because I think people are still trying to find their voice and function for twitter, so a lot of people are saying in their updates teeter on the ridiculous.

One particular conversation you see going on centers around the number of followers a person has. People constantly compare with each other how many followers they have, how much it jumps up every day and if the numbers are true and what they reflect.

As can only happen for any networking site, we're seeing the presence of spammers. I'm not sure what their purpose is, but they seem to think there is one.

With Twitter, you don't ADD people, which involves an APPROVAL step, you "follow" them, which doesn't include any sort of approval at all. So, this so called "spammer" can subscribe to your feed, but if you don't subscribe back ... you don't see a word they have to say. And if you look at their feeds, its always just news feeds and the only spamming you see is that the personal website they have listed in their mini profile is a website to buy or sell things.

If the idea of spammer being able to subscribe to your feed bothers you, you can block them. Twitter does, indeed, have that feature.

I had a bittersweet evening with Twitter a few days ago. The New Pornographers came to town with Okkervil River, whom i love, but I had decided to skip this show in favor of saving my money for a macbook I am in desperate need for. My phone started to update with the tweets of a guy in town who I follow who went to show. While I enjoyed reading his updates about the show, things started to turn for the worse when he mentioned Chris Pirillo was at the show and they were going out for drinks later that night. !!!!!!!

Fun to see play out on my phone, buuuuuut ... I was a tad jealous.

Another fun thing to see go on happened with one of my all time favorite tech journalists, Leo Laporte. His son made a snide remark about not believing his dad had some 10,000+ followers on Twitter, so Leo POSTED HIS SON'S CELL PHONE NUMBER ... on Twitter and said "go ahead minions! Show the kid just how much you love me!" Aaaaaaand ... they did. Almost instantly Hank's cell phone was flooded with text messages. It got so bad, they had to turn the phone off and I'm going to assume that entire line. Hank probably has a new cell phone number now.

It'll be interesting to see how this Twitter thing pans out. Its useful, addictive and just down right interesting. I'm in love with the idea that all the TWiTs talk to each other and the their conversations come right to my cell phone.

I honestly, just really wish more of my friends would give it a try. They all pretty much down right refuse. I've been trying for weeks now. My brother doesn't like it. His friends wouldn't use it either, so there's just no point.

I can't wait to see how it all pans out though. Clearly Twitter is just another step in the evolution of social networking on the internet. It'll be interesting to watch this grow into something else that we adopt and make our own.

Until then, Twitter on kids. Twitter on.

(follow me at www.twitter.com//ministeph )

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