Twitter, Explained

IT Business, IT Culture, Web 2.0

Sometimes it takes me a while to figure out the value in certain things. I’m so inundated with stuff that I almost subscribe to the mantra that everything is crap until it proves otherwise. I remember that, after giving Twitter a brief look I proclaimed it to be:

“Twitter: Your lack of social skills, documented.”

I stand by that remark, it was made in the context of the majority of the subscribers which happen to belong to and/or first adopted by the MySpace generation. Really, I don’t care where you’re having lunch today, where you found a Wii, how long the line at Fantasmic is, or that you just saw someone wipe out on I-4. Really, I don’t.

On the other hand, Twitter has some relatively cool features that have caused me to take a second look, particularly given the nagging. First, it can be updated from anywhere, using anything (well, apparently except T-Mobile) including SMS, Vista Sidebar gadget, web, etc. It is lightweight, realtime, and allows for private updates – that is, my lack of life is not broadcast to the Internet at large, just the people that subscribe to my feed.

So how could this potentially ever be useful you may ask? I work with about 200–300 people on a daily basis, give or take. Quick look at what they are doing is very important (and valuable) to me. For example, is anyone cool coming to Orlando that I can take to dinner? Anyone working on something that I need? What is everyone up to internally, are any fires burning that they are talking about but not letting us know? Did the earthquake knock out our data center?

I generally just skim the Messenger taglines and see what folks are up to, but Messenger just shows the latest update and it is hard to update, it is only updated by people when they are at their desk instead of at the client, at the back of the data center, landing at LAX.. Here is what I am using:

I have a Twadget Vista gadget for the sidebar installed at work and on the laptop. I have my feed integrated into Vladville for my fans (pull up look on the right hand side right under the SBS Show) using Alex King’s Twitter Tools slightly modified. And of course my Twitter is at

So, I’m giving Twitter a second shot.. If you’ve got a Twitter account and you’re on my Messenger list drop it to me please…

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