those updates to the right, aka twitters

by fritzg · 1 Comment ·

Those updates in my sidebar, the ones at the top in the “about me” section are my “twitters”, or “tweets”, from

What is you ask? And why on God’s green (but warming) Earth would you use it?

I’ll answer this in three ways. Because each represents a different way that I use twitter.

First, I describe twitter as facebook’s status on steroids. It is easier (read faster) to update. You can link the two, so that when you update twitter it automatically updates your status at facebook. You can also choose to send and receive twitter updates via SMS text messages and IM (instant messaging).

Second, twitter is what SMS messaging should be. You can send messages directly to people you want to, just like SMS. You can send them only to the people you allow to “follow” you, or you can send them to the public timeline for all to see.

I love SMS. To me SMS (and twitter’s direct messaging) is a quick and easy way to send personal messages. Interacting with someone in quick, non-inturisive ways can help to creat a sense of intimacy as well as build upon it. I have negotiated (read disciplined) my then teen-age son with SMS. We have reconciled via SMS after a verbal face to face argument. I’ve received a joyous SMS text message from him at school when he gets an unexpected good grade and he wants to brag. I’ve had more than a few face to face meetings set up entirely via twitter. With twitter, all this can be done with the wonderful twitter clients there are out there for PCs, Macs and iphones. (Two of my favs are twitterrific and tweetdeck.) As I said earlier, it also uses SMS, so any cellphone can send and receive “tweets”.

Third, twitter is what as known as micro-blogging. With its 140 character limit per tweet, you can’t say much. But then again, you can. That is room for a quick comment followed by a weblink to an article, blog post or picture. And when done in the context of “live blogging” you can communicate quite a bit. Live blogging is a series of blog posts, or in this case tweets/twitters during a live event every few minutes. People do this during political debates and speeches, sporting events, cult tv shows like Lost or Grey’s Anatomy, etc. It’s a nice way to get a feel for the communal atmosphere surrounding an event. Since I am someone who likes brevity (no comments from those who’ve heard me preach) I’ve found I blog less since I’ve been twittering.

Twitter, SMS, facebook and other web 2.0 apps have been invaluable to me since I’ve taken a job in DC and my wife I have been trying out a two city life. We really use technology to bridge the geographic divide. All help me to stay in contact with my communities in Louisville and make new friends in DC. It’s not a substitute for face to face relationships, but twittering helps people to communicate. And good communication is at the very heart of lasting relationships. In the spirit of this blog, twitter helps me to walk humbly as I am more aware of the world around me.

You can join twitter at

Tags: awareness · walk

1 response so far ↓

  • // Sep 11, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    […] responses? Robert Austell writes about Google Reader. Monte writes about facebook. Shawn Coons, Fritz Gutwein, and Adam Walker Cleaveland tell us everything we need to know about twitter. Jan Edmiston, Monte […]

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