Saturday, February 21, 2009

I don't know how Twitter works.

Yes, I'm on Twitter now. It's still just a flirtation; a client has decided to commit to it, not only for himself but for his forthcoming series character, which I think is a cool idea -- a new narrative form, in many ways.

But I know very little about Twitter, and frankly it scares me. You can follow me @eclamb; at the moment I'm following five of my friends, including Joe Finder and The Mystery Bookstore.

But I haven't loaded Twitter onto my iPod touch or (God forbid) my telephone, and I don't plan to update my status more than once a day. I'm not that interesting, even to myself, and checking my friends' status more often than that feels like stalking.

I'd be a really good stalker, and at certain points of my life, in certain circumstances, I've been tempted. I did not have Twitter at my disposal back then, and that's a good thing.

Do you Twitter? What do you use it for? Do you know how to hook up interfaces between Twitter, blogs, Facebook, etc.? Can you point me toward a tutorial? Leave your comments below...


spyscribbler said...

TwiTip has just about everything you'd want to know on the subject from a professional level. Here's a start of things to check out:

If you search in Facebook for a Twitter app, it lets you update your Facebook and Twitter status at the same time.

There is something to be said for having different updates in both places, since the same people tend to follow you in both places. :-)

Twitter is, though, whatever you make of it. I check in with my friends for about 10 minutes a day. I mostly enjoy when we get into a little conversation.

TweetDeck has a great format for managing twitter. It also lets you create a search column centered around certain words. So Joe Finder, for example, could have one column with his name so you'd know when someone tweets about him, and one column for his latest book.

Using TwitterFeed to update your Facebook Status
Mingll: A little buggy for awhile there, but it lets you manage MySpace, Twitter, and Facebook all from Firefox sidebar. You can update all THREE statuses at the same time!
Digsby: Originally designed as primarily a chat program, it will let you manage email, twitter, facebook, and MySpace all in one.
Friendbar: easy updates to both Facebook and Twitter from Firefox

Kevin Wignall said...

It's amazing that someone took the most annoying, most narcissistic aspect of facebook and made a whole new website out of it.

I'm also astonished that so many people who aren't even interesting at a macro level have the deluded self-belief to think we might be interested in them at a micro level. And it's called Twitter, for goodness sake - the clue is in the name.

It seems people are so afraid of missing the next wave of technology that they'll buy into just about anything.

Er... that's my guide to Twitter.

spyscribbler said...

LOL, Kevin, but I think you're missing the point. As a society, our dearest friends and acquaintances are far, far away. Twitter and Facebook can be a way for people to keep up to date on each other's lives in a way Christmas cards and monthly phone calls just can't.

The fact that my best friend's daughter just threw up all over the ping pong table is not at all interesting to you... but it is to me and to all her other real friends.

Sure, there are some people who use it for marketing and such. They have to be somewhat interesting. Still, even then, it's kinda cool to know that they're cleaning up vomit.

It's a place where you can connect with people in a real-life way. You get to see they have a cat, that they can't resist that last piece of chocolate, and what their daily lives are like.

I personally enjoy knowing that Joe Finder eats Thin Mints (where are mine, damnit!) and stuffed a bunch of chicken bones down his disposal.

It's just a way to connect. :-)

AnswerGirl said...

Well, we've gone from the specific to the personal in a way that makes me uncomfortable ... but I will say that both of you raise good points. I hadn't even made the twit/Twitter connection, and it IS funny ... it is also very telling that we live in a world where we feel so profoundly disconnected from ourselves and each other that we need this constant affirmation of our presence.

Which, of course, this blog is another manifestation of.

Sarah Weinman said...

From a business standpoint, it is absolutely indispensable for me. But I wouldn't suggest diving into Twitter until you know exactly what you want to get out of it (if you get Publishers Lunch Deluxe, Michael Cader had an excellent article on the pros and cons of Twitter for the book trade. If not, can fwd to you...)

Karen Olson said...

I am ignorant of the whole Twitter thing. I am still getting used to Facebook.

I think the tendency to overshare is just exacerbated by all this Twittering and such. Some things should be private. I'm shocked about how much people tell others. Maybe it's because it's disconnected. Who knows.