Two weeks with Twitter

March 17 2008

Two weeks ago, I started using Twitter as a microblogging tool.  This wasn't a new discovery -- I originally signed up last year, but didn't immediately see the utility.  The more I saw others using Twitter, though, the more I understood how small "what am I doing" updates weren't so much an additional ego window as they were a broadcast mechanism.  So, I put a widget on the blog, added the Twitter site to bookmarks and txt message and the IM bot to Google talk, and away we've gone.

Now, two weeks later, I totally get it.  I'm even enjoying it.  It is fun to watch the banter as tweets cross the wire about anything and everything.  I've learned about new sites and tools, and been able to track the goings-on for friends and colleagues.  It's a conversation starter.  It's a news service.  It's even a way to let off some stream.

Like any community-oriented technology, there are some conventions and norms to figure out when you really start using it.  I didn't really need a txt message every time someone decided to update their status.  I didn't know to look for replies from people I don't follow for a few days.  For me, this would have been completely overwhelming in the Lotusphere experiment.  Still, it seems pretty cool, fairly customizable, and very lightweight.  I'm going to stick with it, much as many others have.

One thing I haven't decided -- whether the Twitter widget is a permanent replacement for Plazes.  I don't think they do the same things -- place-based awareness versus real-time updates.  But Plazes has been off the blog since the opening general session of Lotusphere, and in eight weeks, only one person has even commented on it.  Maybe my tweets are enough to accomplish the same thing.  At the moment it essentially does -- my last tweet as of this blog posting is about the 300 people registered for Lotusphere Comes to You Chicago tomorrow.  Traffic permitting, I should be there at the start of the day, and while I have a few meetings, I promise I'll be around for the 4 PM networking (=cocktail hour).  Looking forward to seeing many of you there.

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