Why you can’t explain twitter in 140 characters

I’ve identified myself as a closet twitterer. Like RSS, I have a hard time explaining twitter, so usually I don’t even try. I can’t articulate it. So when Common Craft came up with their latest video, some have seen it as being a great way to show others what twitter is all about. I don’t share that enthusiasm. Don’t get me wrong I think the work of Lee Lefever is great but this one misses the mark. I know, he can’t share it all in the time constraints of that format, but I’d have to say that if I didn’t know what twitter was, I’d watch that video and say, “that sounds stupid”. That’s how I‘ve always felt about any explanation.

Today I listened to the TWIT podcast with guests Dave Winer and Steve Gillmor. The last half of their podcast, they address twitter and really begin to uncover its power and potential. There are some pretty significant reasons they address including the ability to select your network, its political and social change implications as well as the appeal of the short, concise bytes of information that lead to larger and more significant learning.

So while I love the 140 format and conciseness in general, there are just too many layers to explain in a 140 seconds.

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Del.icio.us as the precursor to Twitter

I’ve been a del.icio.us user for a couple of years. I started social bookmarking with Furl and made the switch mostly because of the number of users. Del.icio.us is all about the network. I have almost 1000 bookmarks and I’m sure at least half of them are from my network.  If you’re not currently using the network feature of del.icio.us you’re missing out.

One of the most important feeds I subscribe to is my del.icio.us network. Like twitter I can follow anyone’s bookmarks so daily I receive a feed of bookmarks from the likes of Will Richardson, David Jakes, Jeff Utecht, Wes Fryer and 23 other people (I need to add to that number). If you want add me to your network for example, simply go to your network link at the top of the delicious page and add the user of your choice on the right side of the page. To subscribe to your network page, click the RSS icon at the bottom of the page and you’ll be able to be notified every time your network has added a new bookmark. One more part of my research team. These people are scouring the web looking for the very best, most interesting pieces of content.
There are many other tutorials but I created this one very quickly to demonstrate what you need to do.

Del.icio.us quick tutorial

Today, people like twitter when links are posted. Often this leads to some great discoveries and learning. Del.icio.us has been doing the same thing for a while. Last time I checked only 16 or so were following my bookmarks, I think I’m close to 50 now. More important, I had been stuck on about 23 people that I follow. That’s not near enough.

Go to del.icio.us and start building your team.

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Twitter…still stupid but effective

Yes I twitter and yes it’s stupid and yes I still do it.

I’ll try anything once, as evidenced by the countless vacant activity in dozens of social networking sites.  But after reading Darren’s revelation and pointing me to Alan’s portion of the Open, Connected movie, it made more sense.  I could certainly point to several resources, connections and good fun discovered but spending a short time twittering.

Alan points to the experience I had today using twitter. The idea of having instant access and discovering incidental ideas is quite captivating. It reminds me a but of StumbleUpon which I although I haven’t used for quite a while, provided some great treasures. Twitter isn’t just about links and resources but personalizes things. The idea of nano blogging is nice outlet for me and others who struggle with creating fully developed blog posts.

I still don’t fully get it but I get it more now.

[tags]twitter, kuropatwa, d’arcynorman,alanlevine[/tags]