The internet is all about convergence. It was just a few short years ago that people started to get acclimated to using short text messages to communicate with friends and family. Before text messages, we had become pretty comfortable using AOL Instant Messenger, MSN, Yahoo, and the like to send short messages to each other over the internet. The more things change, the more they seems to stay the same, right?
Now we have Facebook available to get in touch with each other and see what our friends are all up to. Who doesn’t like reading up on their friend’s profiles and seeing what they share? I’ll admit it might get annoying once we are all expected to provide an abundance of updates and an outpouring of constant communication, but for now things are reasonable.
If you pay attention to any modicum of internet news, or even news news, you’ve probably heard of Twitter by now. This post isn’t me introducing Twitter to the world, this is me telling you why you should embrace the deluge of Twits out there and why, after many months of fierce resistance to yet another social network, I have succumbed to the simple pleasure of such a great service (it’s really not that bad after all!).
It is easy to see why people love Twitter. Twitter is simple. Twitter connects people. Twitter provides your lonely life with little tidbits about what your friends and those you admire in the real world are up to.
Those you admire you say?
Well, yeah! Along with the masses, a lot of smart and famous individuals have also joined Twitter (and if you play your cards right they may even start following YOU). Try to get that happening on Facebook.
The most well known person to become part of Twitter so far is probably President Barack Obama, but he’s not really worth following (sorry Mr. President). Many of the big time celebrities you can find and follow on Twitter aren’t actually the real item, publicists and PR representatives are mostly responsible for the day to day operation of those accounts, and for that, these unpersonable persons are not exactly worth my time.
However, under the layers of public relations accounts, fake celebrities, fake celebrity impersonators, ironic pop culture mavens, and others in Twitter’s densely populated user base, there are many fantastic individuals to follow. At this point, I have around 50 people I follow (give me an add, why don’t you?). As I browse I’m noticing some people following hundreds if not thousands of other users on Twitter, fascinating for sure, but I can’t even begin to imagine sorting through that many tweets at the end of the day. But people favor big numbers for some reason so more power to them.
I get the sense that there are a few distinct categories of people who are attracted to a site like Twitter. These people are more or less (surprise!) involved in technology and computing and certainly have a handle on the latest and greatest when it comes to the internet. You might not be seeing Clint Eastwood on Twitter in the near future, but you will find HUNDREDS of well known journalists, tech moguls, developers, writers, comedians (I’d follow Tina Fey, but she only seems to talk about what she’s eaten for lunch), filmmakers, and my favorite recent discovery: DJs and hip hop producers.
Now for some Twitters I follow:
- Talib Kweli
- KC Green
- Tech Crunch
- Larry Lessig
- Major Nelson
- Tim Ferriss
- Patrick Norton
- Kevin Rose
- Leo Laporte
- Xeni Jardin
Twitter! Go use it!
Update: oh, and the Dalai Lama joined today.