Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Twitter

Twitter has once again had a lot of press over the weekend. Janet Street-Porter wrote a particularly vicious piece in the Independent on Sunday basically labelling all tweeters as sad.

Stephen Fry has leapt to twitters defence today on his blog. A recent report says that twitter is 40% useless babble and I'm inclined to agree with Mr Fry that the closer we get to that being 100% the better. Richard Madeley, a fellow blogger has also posted a piece that bemoans the lack of understanding and respect his fellow celebs have for tweeters and questioned whether his own love of tweeting is on the wane.

It got me thinking about twitter and why I do it. Is it just to promote Diary of a Ledger? Certainly not, although the change of twitter name would have led many to believe that. That simply happened to set up a feed from blog to twitter account something I couldn't figure out how to do with gray333. So one account slowly died and the other evolved. Most seemed to accept the change. But I digress, why do I tweet?

I guess for me it's a social interaction thing in the same way that the PS3 is but on a more personalised level. It's more immediately rewarding than facebook, although they are both such different applications, that direct comparisons aren't actually as easy to make as you might think.

I've been off for thirteen days (back to work tomorrow) and I've tweeted every day. I've also updated my facebook status everyday and posted at least one Blog entry. That's a lot of internet time. Factor in a few Cod4 sessions, a bit of MSN, Skype and emails with The Giant and I've been on the weirdest holiday ever without leaving home. (Just for the record, and as my regular readers will know, I did go to Brighton and went and saw U2. I have left the house. Honest.) It's been a little social experiment of a holiday.

Twitter is not for the feint hearted though. It's no coincidence that I live on my own. It certainly allows me the time to tweet to my hearts content. Having access on my phone (although still not to DM's) allows me to take it with me everywhere. The world has certainly changed.

So what's a tweet? How does one tweet? Well something struck me today whilst on the way home from town and my haircut (grade 4 all over, I look 12). I was texting JMcG and AT about the opening of a Subway (fast food joint, not an underground station) in Woolston and I thought, 'That could have been a tweet'. So for me tweeting is like texting your mates but all of them at the same time. Does that make sense?

Of course many of my twitter friends aren't people I know in 'real life'. Some live in the States although most are UK based and I have a smattering of followers that I've known for years. But here's the big difference to facebook for me. I've been friends with @fernandomando and @butterflygrrrl on facebook for over two years and over twenty in 'reality' but it never led to us meeting up. Twitter did that.

I have gripes about twitter sometimes. Spotify links do my nut in, but I get the need to share, they're really no different to any other link, I'd just prefer to know what you're listening to without actually hearing it myself. Using Blip is a better alternative. (If this was a tweet I'd have just put #thereIvesaidit). Which leads me to my next gripe... actually it doesn't. Hash tags, are, it transpires, pretty useful, it just took me about three months to figure them out.

Facebook is still great. I wouldn't have been at U2 without it. AT and JMcG wouldn't have been at Old Trafford on Sunday without it. Twitter has just let me 'meet' people that I never would have connected with under any other circumstances. Funny, interesting people, that I enjoy 'talking' to.

So is it sad to tweet? Nope. It's rewarding, entertaining and informative. Everyday. That's why we've seen AT (@maverick99sback) return and why after much debate our very own 'mysterious fourth Ledger' has joined. That's right kids JMcG is on twitter as @flashmcglash81. Follow and say hi. So now with theboycheese (@theboycheese) already tweeting all the Ledgers are on twitter. Lock up stuff and that...

I hope Richard Madeley resists the temptation to ditch twitter. Yes many celebs are pretty lame about not following the masses. But he doesn't do that, he follows as many as he can and that is appreciated. I think many of us have given up on celebs apart from the few that talk back. I've come across about three that are happy to actually converse. Twitter isn't about talking to the famous, it's about talking to people about their days, their lives and ultimately getting to know people.

So in a nut shell. 'Screw you Janet Street-Porter, you doth not know of what you speak. But thanks to the twitter massive for making the weirdest two weeks off an ace holiday.'

Just to confirm that being back at work does not prevent tweeting. See you at 10.10am for tea and 12 o'clock for lunch. Ok?