AN OLD CALENDAR ENTRY reminds me that in October 2006, I sent a few messages from a table at the IIA Net Visionary Awards to the Twitterverse. Fewer than 200 Irish people were using Twitter back then and nobody sitting around my table was tweeting at the time but at least two of the 10 people at the table are regulars on the Irish Twitter timeline now. And at least 500 people in Ireland have become tweeple who I know by their nicknames on Twitter. In fact, there's a mainstream feel about Twitter--although I think it's still a long way away from being something your normal taxi driver would comprehend.
When Twitter fell onto my computer in 2006, it seemed so superficial. I opened several identities and sometimes used them to talk to myself. Only a few people in my social circle could be bothered letting the world know what they had for breakfast. Today, a lot of people in my circle want to share too many details through Twitter. I've read updates to gig dates, emergency services information on the heels of natural disasters and road traffic advisories have appeared on my mobile Twitter screen before I've heard on my car radio.
Twitter's ease of use is also part of its downfall for me. It's easily addictive and that's not a good thing when there's not enough time to work company e-mail, to blog, and to update materials on our virtual learning environment in our third level college. Twitter has also failed me as a dependable mobile platform--although its reliability since May 2008 is worth mentioning. Nonetheless, as a heavy mobile data user, I would rather have Twitter.com sending me SMS text or Instant Messages instead of depending on it refreshing sites like Dabr.co.uk while I'm untethered from my desk.
As a Lazyweb resource, Twitter is handy, but hardly expert. I've enjoyed some very timely advice via Twitter when roaming around Dublin, Berlin, and London, plus I've offered advice via Twitter to tourists visiting Ireland. That's nice, but not always dependable because some key players at work and in my family just couldn't be bothered engaging with Twitter. You're much more likely to get a community feeling about Twitter during Irish Tweet-ups or inside the Tweeple group on LinkedIn.
I believe there's scope for focused use of Twitter at live conferences and I'm trying to teach first year college students how to tweet summaries of speeches, question and answer sessions, and hallway conversations. There is value to sharing with others in strings of understandable messages. My legacy of twittering is obvious in the tweetcloud published along with this blog post. The larger bold-faced items are the terms I most frequently use. I break with social etiquette by tweeting about Twitter.
I've also discovered dozens of marketers and brand managers using Twitter, some to great effect. However, with no way of threading conversation in the standard Twitter interface, some lines of thought get very jumbled. Not so with Jaiku, a less popular microblogging platform owned by Google.