How things have changed in a few short months since I wrote an article commenting on my lack of understanding of the Twitter phenomenon. I now use it daily, and even much more so than Adium or Skype for much of my chattering with Beijing locals (you should absolutely be following me, @marcwan). In some ways, writing little 140 character messages in twitter space is like farting in the wind – who knows who’s going to notice. But there is one surprising side-effect of these short messages that I’ve decided I really enjoy: It encourages better writing.
Of course, many people will smply strt wrtng lke ths 2 get thngs 2 fit, but for those people who use Twitter for more professional goals, and attempt to maintain a (reasonably) polished appearance there, the 140 character limit forces you to really think about what you’re going to say and how you want to say it.
As somebody who all too often uses words like actually, really, absolutely, reasonably, and softens many sentences to make them avoid seeming too concrete or prescriptive, Twitter has really forced me to cut these out and start writing more succinctly. This is a good thing™.
(Interesting side note: you can type a lot more Chinese in 140 characters you can Western languages. Those characters pack a lot of meaning, and you can basicaly write a paragraph or two per Tweet. Contrast that with the struggle to fit a single sentence in the same space).
So, here’s to hoping my blog posts become increasingly less long-winded. All thanks to Twitter. Who’da thunk it?[Read Rest of Article]
I’ve been trying to “get” Twitter for a while now. My business colleague Alex got me to sign up some many moons ago, whereafter I wrote a couple of messages and immediately proceeded to forget about it. With the recent hype surrounding it and how it’s the most awesome important thing ever to hit the Internet (evar) – apart from Facebook – I’ve decided, however, to give it another try.
I’m still failing miserably. I find that I can barely get into Facebook more than a few times a week to see how friends and acquaintances are doing via status messages, and most of that is because of the iPhone client that makes it really easy when I’m stunningly bored in a taxi. I find Twitter even more maddeningly frustrating to sift through.
But I continue to assume that it is I who do not get it, so I keep at it. I read one article asserting that Twitter’s advantage lies in its value as a search engine. So, I started to look through it for things that interest me by conducting a bunch of searches. Apart from the fact that half the queries didn’t work or bring any values back at all, looking for things related to interesting TV shows, nethack, Adwords Advertising, and PHP programming all gave me an avalanche of junk, with only the occasional nugget of interesting value.
Perhaps somebody else can mine this data to produce something more interesting, but right now, add me to the list of people who realise they’re watching something major and important unfold in front of them, and are completely baffled by it.[Read Rest of Article]