Monday, March 12, 2007

My Obligatory Twitter Post

Today, Beth Kanter twittered to her twitter network a query about who had posted about the use of Twitter in the non profit world.

As an old curmudgeon mixed with early adopter, I have expectedly mixed feelings about this social-network-like-presence-group-IM-multiperson SMS system. It is both fascinating, amusing, distracting, potentially useful, and annoying.

I have been wasting time, um, spending research attention on watching use patterns emerge, seeing how friends request friends to join their twitter list and the little things, like the adoption of the public personal message (sending a twitter with @username to send a message to a user without using the direct messaging feature or d username), the event based flood of SXSW twitterations, and of course, really interesting thinking about how Twitter could be used in disasters and for the non profit sorts of things many of us do.

Beth has already done a good job rounding up the posts on the latter issues... Twitter for Nonprofits: Waste of Time or Potentially Useful? I wonder about the application in international development where mobile phones are the primary access device. But it would have to be with defined groups. The wild-open messaging would cost too much and distract/dilute the value of group, mobile SMSs. The web based history would be a real plus. I think of things like Swarmteams (hm, it would be good to do a comparison, as Swarmteams is focused around bounded groups, Twitter much less so.) Ken, if you are reading this, let us know your thoughts!

Personally, I don't use Twitter on a mobile phone, and I use the GoogleTalk IM interface IF I want to follow a twitter stream. But I can't keep it on all the time. I'm too easily distracted. And there is so much that is not worth the time to read.

Like some of my friends, I think I need to trim my friends list. I'd really appreciate grouping functions. There is a time when the free for all is fun, but that floods out the interactions with colleagues that advances work or thinking and learning. And since learning is one of my main ideas of fun (remember, I'm part curmudgeon!) the running commentary on drunkenness in Austin just doesn't ring my bell. I do get excited to read what others were learning/thinking about SXSW presentations.

So? Too soon to tell. But the emergence of the uses is what is most fascinating about Twitter to me, and my own use of it much less interesting.

Hm, maybe because answering the question "What are you doing right now?" is not, um, very interesting. Of course, I'm blogging!


Anonymous Jeffrey Keefer said...

You know, Nancy, I think I share some of your thoughts about the use of Twitter. Ever since hearing about it at Northern Voice, I have been fascinated with Twitter's potential. No, I have no idea of their business plan (I do not believe they are making any money from anything I can detect yet, or at least not from me), but there is just something about it that won't shake (yet). Think about it, you spent an entire post talking about it. I have done that too. More than once. Not easy to get away from it, though I am struggling to see its clear practical use. Like you, I can't quite disengage. I wonder if it taps into a certain voyeurism with reciprocity?

11:55 PM  
Blogger Deborah said...

Dear Nancy,

Thanks for your reflections on Twitter. Here's a link to my blog article on the topic:

Warm regards from Deborah

Deborah Elizabeth Finn
Boston, Massachusetts, USA

"What is good...but to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your god?" (Micah 6:8)

5:46 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Full Circle Associates
4616 25th Avenue NE, PMB #126 - Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 517-4754 -