Wednesday, January 14

The World of Twitter

Some time last fall, I began using Twitter. If you're not up on the latest in technology, Twitter is a free social networking service that lets people send and read other users' updates (known as tweets), which are posts of up to 140 characters that answer the question "What are you doing?" Usually the posts are read online, though you can set the posts (or select posts) to be sent to your phone as a text message. I can decide who I want to "follow" (whose updates I want to read) and others can choose to "follow" me. Currently, I follow 207 people and 134 people are following me. Of course, just because I follow someone doesn't guarantee that I have time to read all of their posts. But when I do, there is usually something interesting going on.

It is an interesting community. I don't personally know most of those I follow or those who follow me. Some people post frequently - several times a day. Others post far less often. Most of the posts aren't significant. Tonight, during American Idol, there were a lot of posts regarding various contestants (good and bad). Others, however, provide insights that are insightful and thought-provoking. There are a lot of very sharp thinkers using Twitter. Some posts provide information that is helpful - even information on local situations or conditions.

One of the most interesting parts of Twitter is the diversity of those who use it. Unlike Facebook, the Twitter "demographic" is older - people 30 and over. Most of those I follow (and who follow me) are people you have never heard of. Many of them are involved in Christian ministry. But not all. And there are some interesting folks who Twitter on a regular basis. On the list of those I follow (and some of whom follow me) are actors (Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Jimmy Fallon, Penn Jillette), musicians (Natalie Grant, Dave Matthews, Sheila Walsh, Deidra Hughes), athletes (Jerry Rice, Lance Armstrong, Natalie Gulbis, Shaquille O'Neal), politicians (Mike Huckabee, John Boozman, Barak Obama), and authors (Ed Stetzer, Mark Batterson, Thom Rainer, Leonard Sweet, Donald Miller), and more.

So after three or four months, what do I think? I think I like it. I enjoy the "dialogue" - listening in on the thoughts of others, learning from them. I like the way that answering the question "What are you doing?" makes me more aware of what I am doing, being more purposeful and focused.

If you decide to check Twitter out, be sure and look me up (@michtarm) and I'll follow you!

1 comment:

Jake T said...

What? No mentiond of @crazybilly? Maybe under 'famous bloggers', hehehe.