Who knows when and by whom this is being read, but as I write there is a new little box in the top-right-hand corner of my blog showing something called “Twitter” updates.
This is a little something I’ve been playing with and I want to explain why.
A Brief History of Social Networking in the Wintle Household
I was never into MySpace as a social networking tool. Too cluttered and didn’t really get what it was all about. Then, a while back, Facebook became popular. It was a real big thing in 2007 and I became a fully-addicted member in about May time. I was a bit skeptical about it. but I’ve really enjoyed using it to keep up with what’s going on with my friends. It DOES have some Friends-Reunited type functionality, but I’ve rarely spent much time reconnecting with old friends. I mostly use it to watch the short status updates of my real-world friends, share photos, and to play Scrabulous (clever online version of Scrabble).
More and more on Facebook, the advertising is creeping in, and the small amount of useful functionality is becoming obscured by alerts that I’d rather not see, and invitations to use pointless applications.
It seems I’m not the only one with “Facebook Fatigue” either, as this article from The Register suggests.
I also enjoy reading other people’s blogs in order to keep up with them. This is also a kind of social networking for me. And, of course, one of my reasons for writing this stuff is so that other people can keep up with me (not many do, but that’s OK – there are other reasons to write).
But my blog entries take a lot of time to write and I’m often a week or so behind where I actually want to be with posts.
The status updates in Facebook are really a kind of “micro-blogging”. Small statements about what’s going on with your life to allow others to keep up with you.
I’ve not looked up a definition of “micro-blogging” but the concept seems to be a series of small notes that track those smaller updates and thoughts that occur between longer “macro blog” entries that people might be publishing about themselves.
I would, in fact, much prefer it if the people I use Facebook to keep up with would do some form of Blogging or “micro-blogging”.
Twitter is a tool that allows this sort of thing. It’s stupidly simple. You can write a status update of 140 characters from the web, your phone (by SMS or mobile web), or using a Google Chat. These can be read by your “followers”.
You can also choose to “follow” others, and you can choose to get updates from others from the website, by SMS, or through your Google Chat.
So, I have been doing a bit of Twittering to see if anyone follows.
It feels a bit silly and self-indulgent. But so did Facebook when it started. I wonder if others would follow me in defecting if they knew what it was and why I was doing it? I wonder if others are fed up of the constant hassling of Facebook applications and just want to know what’s going on with their friends and family?
Maybe Twitter gives information overload if you have too many people that you’re following? I’m not sure. But my future feels like it’s more with micro-blogging, using whatever tool, than with Facebook.