Sickness In the Time of Twitter

sick day So here I am on Day 2 of feeling sick. “Sick,” in this case, started out as all over achey, thumping head, and excessive bodily functions. Today, it’s mostly been the bodily functions. Hooray. But, as with everything in my life, I try to learn from my experiences.

Connectedness

When I’d wake up from nap #41, or come back from bathroom trip #37, I caught myself just glancing bleary-eyed at Twitter to see how people were getting on in the world. In case you’re still not onboard, Twitter is a “keep in touch” service, that lets you communicate with a group of people via SMS, IM, or the Web. The essential question Twitter asks all day long is, “What are you doing?” And you answer.

Here’s a random copy of the last six or seven twitters on my group list:

Bryper I would consider it if I could elect to receive messages from certain friends … rather than all 51. I’m sure Twitter will get there. 6 minutes ago from web
BJMcCray Learning new painting techniques…online of course 7 minutes ago from web
joshleo It’s 3:15, Lucky Charms time! 10 minutes ago from web
ericskiff @bryper – yes, I was getting some messages on my cellphone last night, and had to turn that feature off. One came through at 12:30!
Bryper Does one actually *receive* messages on their mobile phone as well?
Clintus @Zadi – that is like the worst news ever. Especially since your traveling and you just got there.
dhowell Pretending, via greenscreen, to be underwater 17 minutes ago from txt

There are hundreds more. I have 270 friends on my Twitter list, and they send out a message on average of once an hour. Now, all 270 don’t go to my cell, but if I pop open the web browser, I see the larger story of the folks I follow. Sometimes, as above, you see little sideways conversations. Other times, people randomly align on an instant meme (food seems to be a common one).

What’s the VALUE of Twitter? Hard to say. I like it because I feel “connected.” It reminds me of cyberpunk stories where everyone feels the web moving around them, and feels like they hear everything.

But Instant Messenger is like that, right? Wrong. IM requires direct one-on-one conversation. It requires thinking, communicating, rehashing.

Twitter as a Tool

Twitter reminds us to stay in touch. It tells our friends that we’re still here. It says, “I see you.” But there’s more.

Twitter is good for:

  • Inviting online friends to an impromptu gathering.
  • Tapping a lot of people’s opinion at once.
  • Getting quick recommendations.
  • Asking for directions.

What else? What do YOU use Twitter for? And if you’re NOT on Twitter, what don’t you like about it?

My Twitter name: chrisbrogan. Add me today. : )

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  • http://completerunning.com Mark

    I can’t believe I am about to type this but I think we are getting to the point where there are simply too many options for communicating.

    I feel fragmented and torn between excellent services.

    I find myself wanting google to goble all the good stuff up and make all that good stuff magically available to me in one neat, tidy package.

    I believe I am going straight to hell.

  • http://completerunning.com Mark

    I can’t believe I am about to type this but I think we are getting to the point where there are simply too many options for communicating.

    I feel fragmented and torn between excellent services.

    I find myself wanting google to goble all the good stuff up and make all that good stuff magically available to me in one neat, tidy package.

    I believe I am going straight to hell.

  • http://www.chrisbrogan.com chrisbrogan

    Ah, but you can Twitter from within your IM client, so that clears that. Or you can Twitter from your Gmail Chat. So there. Wrapped up tight. :)

  • http://www.chrisbrogan.com chrisbrogan

    Ah, but you can Twitter from within your IM client, so that clears that. Or you can Twitter from your Gmail Chat. So there. Wrapped up tight. :)

  • http://www.groovr.com Justine

    You should check out groovr.com ;) It’s Twitter on steroids.

  • http://www.groovr.com Justine

    You should check out groovr.com ;) It’s Twitter on steroids.

  • bear

    groovr.com looks nice and all but it requires a phone that does sms whereas twitter can be used from either sms or im

  • bear

    groovr.com looks nice and all but it requires a phone that does sms whereas twitter can be used from either sms or im

  • Tommy vallier

    I found twitter… who knows how… and love it now. I twitter from my hone, and from Twitteroo and from the web. All over the place!

    I’ve liked @ messages. They’ve helped me find a spot online to watch the bowl ads, helped with web development, and helped me pick breakfast.

    The only problem there is having more followers. All of your followers get your message, but you don’t get their’s until you add them. I’ve already seen it where I post a message and someone I haven’t added answered. Oops.

  • Tommy vallier

    I found twitter… who knows how… and love it now. I twitter from my hone, and from Twitteroo and from the web. All over the place!

    I’ve liked @ messages. They’ve helped me find a spot online to watch the bowl ads, helped with web development, and helped me pick breakfast.

    The only problem there is having more followers. All of your followers get your message, but you don’t get their’s until you add them. I’ve already seen it where I post a message and someone I haven’t added answered. Oops.

  • http://www.Bryper.com Bryan Person, Bryper.com

    Not sure if I should be pleased or disturbed that you’re following my ramblings from your sick bed :)

    Feel better, CBro.

  • http://www.Bryper.com Bryan Person, Bryper.com

    Not sure if I should be pleased or disturbed that you’re following my ramblings from your sick bed :)

    Feel better, CBro.

  • http://www.idoitdigital.com Clintus

    I love Twitter. It not only let’s me keep up to date in real time what everyone is up to, but it also let’s others know what’s going on with me. Like you said, it’s not like an IM where you have to think and respond. And I give all the credit to you since I first learned of Twitter from seeing your widget on your site. Thanks :)

  • http://www.idoitdigital.com Clintus

    I love Twitter. It not only let’s me keep up to date in real time what everyone is up to, but it also let’s others know what’s going on with me. Like you said, it’s not like an IM where you have to think and respond. And I give all the credit to you since I first learned of Twitter from seeing your widget on your site. Thanks :)

  • http://stevegarfield.com steve garfield

    Zadi lost her cell phone in a cab in DC and got it back. Not the worst news ever.

  • http://stevegarfield.com steve garfield

    Zadi lost her cell phone in a cab in DC and got it back. Not the worst news ever.

  • http://www.FinancialAidPodcast.com Christopher Penn, Financial Ai

    Twitter uses:

    Digg storms
    StumbleUpon drives
    Recommendation service
    Tech support
    Instant focus group
    Private beta tests
    Knowledge share

    All kinds of things. I’ve very quickly become Twitterized.

  • http://www.FinancialAidPodcast.com Christopher Penn, Financial Aid Podcast

    Twitter uses:

    Digg storms
    StumbleUpon drives
    Recommendation service
    Tech support
    Instant focus group
    Private beta tests
    Knowledge share

    All kinds of things. I’ve very quickly become Twitterized.

  • http://www.blogabilities.com Connie Reece

    Gee, I’m one of 270 friends? I feel so special. LOL

    Evidently I’ve imbibed the Twitter Kool-aid. Today I found myself hitting Refresh on my cell phone’s browser while I was stopped at a traffic light. Why? Yeah, I was checking Twitter.

    Sometimes I use it as a micro-blog – can I say something meaningful in 140 characters? Mostly I enjoy getting short updates from friends I’ve made in the blogosphere. I have vicariously followed you to New York, San Francisco, and points in between.

    Hope you feel better soon.

  • http://www.blogabilities.com Connie Reece

    Gee, I’m one of 270 friends? I feel so special. LOL

    Evidently I’ve imbibed the Twitter Kool-aid. Today I found myself hitting Refresh on my cell phone’s browser while I was stopped at a traffic light. Why? Yeah, I was checking Twitter.

    Sometimes I use it as a micro-blog – can I say something meaningful in 140 characters? Mostly I enjoy getting short updates from friends I’ve made in the blogosphere. I have vicariously followed you to New York, San Francisco, and points in between.

    Hope you feel better soon.

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    Twitter can be a bit surreal when it wants to be when you consider who can follow and how many people follow you.

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