Twitter: 5 Days In, and the Focusing of Thoughts

posted in Miscellaneous on May 19, 2008

It’s hard to believe that such a ridiculous “tool” can be so interesting. Again, not to point out the actual features of the service from the last post, Twitter is so simple in concept but so interesting in execution that’s it hard to stop looking at it.

I know that before I started using the service, I did my best to disregard it for anything other than a waste of time (and for all intents and purposes, it kinda of is half the time), but I’ve done that with other things as well. Macs, World of Warcraft, and many other things in my past have all gone through this progression of ignorant discontent before I’ve actually tried them out. Somehow I work in reverse with new things; my optimism for something comes after the fact. But this is all an aside that I don’t need to get into. What needs to be discussed is Twitter.

Since starting using the site, I have made a couple of observations. Firstly, I feel weird when I have more “tweets” than others, or, more precisely, tweets in a row. For some reason that makes me feel awkward, like I’m spending too much time focusing on it. Secondly, I definitely enjoy the progressional nature of thoughts that can be achieved by the current social networking applications that are available. For example, this is how the progression of one of my thoughts when in terms of how the end user sees the focus of the same situation:

Recall not long ago – in fact, the post under this one – I discussed how I may or may not be getting screwed on my recent purchase of a super awesome camera. It was a fairly lengthy post that I had actually written whilst sitting at work, but that’s besides the point. Now, those who follow me on Twitter, Pownce, and here all saw varying degrees of information regarding the same issue. If you only happen to follow my Twitter, you’d have simply seen this:

Twitter Message

If you’re my buddy on Pownce, you would have seen a slightly larger expanation:

Pownce Message

And, of course, if you happen to have bookmarked my RSS or just jump in here from time to time, you would have read the lengthy post regarding super crappy camera websites. This “focusing” of information is really interesting to me for some reason. Thoughts and ideas come out compartmentalized by the length and necessity at which information needs to come across. And this flow of focusing can go one way but not the other. I can post everything from Twitter into Pownce or my site, but not the other way. Some might call it strange or stupid to have three separate venues for the processing of information, or, more pointedly, three separate places to put the same information, but I like it. Not everyone reads this page, not everyone reads my Pownce, and not everyone reads my Twitter. Somehow the constant ability to target specific audiences just became interesting.

Now, it has only been five days or so of usage, but I definitely am enjoying Twitter and its ability to be just different enough to make it useful outside of these other services. I only wished more people would use them all more. For example, I love Pownce’s ability to target specific user created groups of people for events, links, messages, and files. The grouping of people into specific groups could be so useful if more people of my friends used it. But alas, at this moment that is not the case. Someday soon, hopefully.

One last thing that I’ve found useful regarding Twitter is an app called Twitterific. Basically, like Pownce’s client, it lets you use the service out of the browser window, so you don’t have to keep checking it. Basically, it just stays hidden in the top taskbar and every few minutes checks for an update. If there is an update, the window will pop up showing you what happened. It’s a very useful tool, and makes posting to Twitter much easier (as if posting now wasn’t easy enough). Unfortunately, from what I understand it’s Mac only, so sorry Windows people. (Although it’s kinda fun to have that problem every once in a while. It’s usually the other way around.)

So basically what I’m saying is that if you’re reading this and want gradations of information from yours truly, try out these other services; you might just like them.