Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tried to Twitter...

But, why twitter when you can Blog!

Four years ago most people didn't know what a Blog was, and Twittering wasn't even on the horizon. Nowadays you can stay in touch on an almost constant basis with anybody that has access to a cellphone or a computer. The Blackberry cellphones are Ideal for Twittering. They have a camera, and a "qwerty" keyboard and Internet access. Recently some of you saw Ashton Kutcher challenge Larry King, to see who could be the first one to have one million Twitter followers. Ashton won.

From Twitter:
"Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service that allows you answer the question, "What are you doing?" by sending short text messages 140 characters in length, called "tweets", to your friends, or "followers."

If blogging is poetry, Twitter is Haiku. You only have 140 characters to say whatever it is that you are going to say. You must be very eloquent to make a significant statement with only 140 characters. Especially if you have a boring life! But, once you come up with that short message and tweet it to the net, it goes out to all of the people that follow your tweets. In Ashton Kutchers case that's around a million followers. Links can be added to lead you to other Twitterers, blogsites, or photo albums.
Twitter has some serious applications. An account can be set up by a fire department. All of the people that are working at the scene of an emergency can be tweeted updates from the incident command post, that way everybody can be aware of the progress being made on a real time basis, without tying up other communications systems.
However, I can't imagine giving minute by minute updates on "What am I doing?" I rather do it on a weekly basis...
Besides who wants to be a "Micro-blogger, when you can be a Mega-blogger.
Do you Tweet?


AJ said...

I don't use Twitter. I've noticed four levels of twits though.

1. Twits who hold true to purpose -- talking about their personal life.

2. Twits who create a performance medium, particularly public figures who reinforce their image, hopefully introducing humor in the process.

3. Twits who opened a Twitter account, then realized they have nothing to say. They spend most of their time responding to other twits in order to appear active and garner some attention.

The exception is high school kids and the like who really do want Twitter to be a pseudo-texting medium.

4. Organizations that bumble into Twitter because they believe they must be there to appear hip. It's a train wreck.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Very, very wise observations AJ.

Just like most things in my life, I got sucked into Twitter out of curiosity. They say “curiosity killed the cat”. It didn’t take long to kill this cat. Like you say, I had heard of the L.A. Fire Department using Twitter to keep track of the L.A. fire storm. I thought that there might be a practical application for twitter in our local fire Departments. I thought that maybe we were missing out on some “Hip” new innovative way to battle a fire. The clue for me should have been that it was the “L.A.” fire Department. I soon figured out that It was more practical to just pick up the microphone and say something like “The fire just broke out on the left flank”, and nobody would have to stop work, look for their phone or anything. The two-way radio is the perfect method of communication in an emergency.

The only exception would be if the radios were out of service for some reason. Even then most of our radios are battery powered, and would still work locally. When we are in areas of poor reception we are used to relaying messages from radio to radio.

The following is a very appropriate parody on Twittering:
twitter lisa nova .

humboldturtle said...

No one likes redundant turtles so here's my take:

omr said...

Twitterpated is the word that comes to mind.

suzy blah blah said...


suzy blah blah said...

off topic --FLASH!! i just heard something on the news about a swine flew, --im not sure but i think it may have been sighted over Richardson Grove ...

Ernie Branscomb said...

Yes Suzy, you are right. My top secret training grounds in Mexico have had a major disaster. I don’t speak Spanish all that well, and when I tried to tell the Mexican Pig Whisperers that I wanted to train pigs to be able to fly all over the United States, they thought that I wanted FLU all over the U.S.

Now we won’t have the Richardson’s Grove by-passed with flying pigs, as per my plan, but, alas, my grand plan to actually control the Flying Pig Freight Service all over the U.S. is exposed.

I’m ruined! Now I have lost my chance to control the freight in the U.S. I will become a pariah as soon as word gets out who was behind all of the Pig Flu stuff… Can you keep a secret???

Anonymous said...

I'll bet you are rueing the day you twittered your Cochino-whisperers!

USelaine said...

I use Twitter. It's a tool for anyone to use any way they want. Like any new tool, it can take some time to figure out all the ways you might want to use it. You can also just chuck it across the garage if it doesn't apply to your current interests. One blogger wrote In Defense of Twitter in response to Maureen Dowd's NY Times opinion piece.

I opened my account after all the news coverage about how the political campaigns had made use of it last year. I kept mine locked/private for a couple of months, until I could get my bearings. It also took a little while to ferret out the Twitter feeds I wanted to follow, and that is a continuing process of trial and error. I don't have TV, so I like having a bunch of news feeds in my mix. I've found some celebrities that are entertaining (and some are not), and there are science and museum streams I follow too. If the links are good, the humor pithy, or they are otherwise enriching to me, I keep them on. No need to knock it just because it's a ball point pen, and any teenager can go out and use it. Be discriminating, like anything else.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Elaine, Of course you are right. Just like language, what you get out of it depends on how you use it.

I discovered the the ticker tapes that run under the TV news screens are Twittered, just incase you want to keep up on the new flu outbreaks.

USelaine said...

I "follow" @DHSJournal (dept of Homeland Security) @CDCemergency (Centers for Disease Control) and @USDAFoodSafety (nothing to do with catching flu, obviously, but still worthy). Also, @EQTW is the USGS automated feed of worldwide earthquakes 5.0 and greater. Could see aftershocks in Italy even before news feeds reported them. I could go on and on... info junkie, I am.

The Boy Most Likely to ... said...

Coming soon! My blog post on why I can't twitter.