I promise this is the last thing I will blog about twitter…. today. Moreso than the back and forth about twitter being the Signpost of Doom that People Need to Get a Life, vs the It’s Just Great to Banter with People I Like, it is amazing how quickly it is moving as a techno-meme. Just watching the increased rate of contact messages, how many more tweets spill when I flip back mid-day. I am just plain fascinated to watch it explode, not caring if it folds like a limp tortilla tomorrow or if eventually those Obvious dudes buy out Google.
It’s like having some sort of social behavior laboratory right in front of you.
So some curious things I have seen twitter on by.
Yesterday, Tom Hapgood emailed me and asked for some comments about twitter on his blog, which at that time was full of your typical responses for those looking outside in:
it’s a stupid thing.
I can only assume that someone who twitters will eventually have no friends.
it’s lame. diminishing the value of interaction. i don’t want to get a text messages every time someone goes to the restroom or feels like they’re gonna be late for something.
Hummingbirds are the only things that should be allowed to twitter.
guess where they are on the curve?
So besides adding my own comment to Tom’s site, I took another step – I twittered this tweet:
In less than 20 minutes, Tom had 5 new comments from the Twitterati:
I think this is much more effective than email. It can be a call to action!
Likewise, today, follow this thread as D’Arcy shares a new wiki technollogy,others try it out, and it makes its way into a live presentation… in a time span of six minutes!
you might chalk this up to the rabid swarming of techno geeks, but for little effort, not stuffing people with email, twitter can generate action. All it takes is a nudge, some contacts….
Lastly, there is new discovery. Via a twitter contact (Darren), I came across Claudia’s balanced summary of This Twittering Life:
Thus it creates a sense of sharing the intimacy of the blogger; lets say, the blogging context or conditions. Spying on them, but not interrupting them. Not sharing the thoughts in your brain, but rather how your neurons talk to each other to produce the post: what you are reading, what your friends are reading.
Can this create a new conversation pulse, pace or rhythm? For example, let us all write at the same time or stop to eat at the same time. Does it add a sense of togetherness in the loneliness of the blogger’s posting time?
And there is communication to think about. In Twitter you simply tell the ‘what’ and the ‘where’. Twitters are not messages or posts that require any answer. The tool does not foster it, at least. A twitter is just that, no invasive technology
So while it is easy to point the finger and dismiss it as people telling the world the last time they scratched their navel (3 hours 11 minutes ago) — it’s not the technology making it inane. The communication patterns and potential will become more obvious when creative minds put this tool to work. remember, technology by itself is of no intrinsic merit without the context and meaning we put into, around it, through it.
And woah, find something new through a technology that is not coming in RSS or other channels? Claudia’s post led me to twitterment, a search engine developed at the eBiquity Research Group, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). It can pull up a list of twitter activty, along with charts and graphs of hourly and daily trends, plus locating the tweets on a Google map, by keyword search- for example, a search of twittering on “wikipedia”.
But wait, there is more! You can also generate data representing comparisons of twittering between 2 keywords, for example, the activity of dogs versus cats
This data clearly documents that except for some abnormal nocturnal behavior (2-5am) and a weak effort on Wednesdays, there is much more to tweet about for dogs than cats.
Okay, the example is silly- but is the potential here for real time data, connectivity, not just intoxicating?
Like I said, the last thing today, maybe even tomorrow on twitter.