Twitter taking off in Harrisonburg

Brent Finnegan -- March 3rd, 2009

During the past several months, tens of thousands of Americans have been jumping on yet another social media bandwagon: Twitter. The number of “active users” of the microblogging service has grown 900% in the last year, according to Twitter co-founder, Biz Stone. The effect of that growth can be clearly seen in the Harrisonburg community.

A status update from a friend on Facebook (proclaiming, “Twitter is retarded”) prompted me to explain how and why this trendy site is having an impact. We integrated Twitter into hburgnews a year ago, and it’s paid off more than once. More often than not, it’s where news is being broken (bits and pieces of news, anyway). If blogs are outpacing newspapers, Twitter is outpacing blogs.

Now, some newspaper reporters are using it to gather information and tease their stories.

But the messaging service is being used for more than news. Small businesses and realtors are using it to connect with customers and potential clients, opening up short conversations. Scott Rogers is an early adopter who has used Twitter at open houses and foreclosure sales. A few days ago, Klines Dairy Bar created a Twitter account on the suggestion of two customers.

Are you on Twitter? How do you use it? Do you find it “retarded?” Distracting? Useful?

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46 Responses to “Twitter taking off in Harrisonburg”

  1. Shae says:

    I have been on Twitter for a while now and love it! I follow people that interest me, news feeds, sports feeds, a few celebs, exercise feeds, friends I know personally and others that I do not but seem interesting. It keeps me in the loop and informed about what I am interested in. I also use it to update my Facebook status. I have the Twitter app on my Blackberry so can Tweet as often as I feel like it. This is all coming from someone who enjoys both being connected and social networking; so I don’t find it retarded.

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  2. Frank J Witt says:

    As many of you (followers) know, I use it for accidents, gas prices and weather. I also follow baseball/football news. I think it is extremely useful.

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  3. Chris Bell says:

    Thanks Brent, I feel special now.

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  4. Stewart is just poking fun because he didn’t get on the bandwagon in time. You watch: if momentum continues to build, he’ll have no other choice than to Twitter or get left behind. Pretty soon, not having a Twitter account will be like not being on Facebook.

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  5. Chris Bell says:

    Well sheesh you did have to remove the screen shot on my account. Let it be known to all, it was me and I’m sticking to my guns… retarded.

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  6. Marty says:

    Put me in the “Twitter is retarded” category.

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  7. Emmy says:

    I have two accounts, a personal and a blog account. I really like it. I find it’s a great way to see a lot of information at once. I follow a lot of bloggers and I can look through their “teets” and see what they are posting about.

    Literally the morning I was given the axe I was planning to talk to someone about the benefits of having a Twitter account for the company. Guess Bell won’t be doing that ;)

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  8. Chris Bell says:

    hahaha whose teets are you looking at emmy? Also check out http://www.skittles.com to see a twitter marketing idea gone wrong. Letting the internet control what is on your home page is probably not the smartest idea in the world.

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  9. Chris Bell says:

    Well actually you have to go to chatter on the skittles page to have it show the twitter feed. They did have that as their main page but i guess they finally realized what bad idea it was.

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  10. Well, that’s all about HOW you use it. If someone runs a dumb ad on TV, does that mean TV advertising is dumb? I think Comcast is using it right, considering how many people hate their company.

    If businesses aren’t using it to have conversations, then they’re not using it right.

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  11. Emmy says:

    Ooops that was a bad typo! I meant “tweets” LOL!

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  12. JGFitzgerald says:

    I once considered having two custom bumper stickers made for my vehicle:

    “Nothing I think or believe is simple”

    “enough to fit on one bumper sticker.”

    Pops to mind for some reason. But then I’m old, and think email should have punctuation.

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  13. Renee says:

    You can tell since I haven’t weighed in yet or tweeted today that I’m super-busy, but you know I’ll be back to comment on this topic later!

    (That was like a tweet right there, wasn’t it?)

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  14. I am sure all of this is brilliant, but I am a worse dinosaur than JGF (did I get that right?). Not only do I not have a twitter, I do not have a facebook, and I do not even have a cell phone. I am about to go extinct!!!

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  15. Sarah says:

    I’ve just started using it, and am still a little unsure of whether I think it’s brilliant or silly. Haven’t found my niche, I guess.

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  16. Josh says:

    Yes, I’m on twitter. I don’t post very often and use it to follow the “tweets” from sources I care to hear frequently from.

    It’s a love/hate thing. Real blogs and discussion threads are still where the substantial content is at. Twitter on the other hand is awesome for hat-tip style reporting.

    I find twitter overall to be a convoluted mess. I like the original intent, the mindless status “What are you up to?” functionality: short and sweet primary-source tweets between friends. But without proper threading and discussion limitations, it’s a mountain of information to wade through.

    I prefer RSS feeds for most everything else. I’ll still pay attention to you if you don’t have a twitter account, but if you don’t have RSS I’m likely not going to read your website (blog).

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  17. Justin says:

    I was using Twitter for awhile then quit.

    I was following people here on Hburgnews for fun, then found more friends using it. Then I joined Facebook that has many more friends on it and nice status updates. So add that to my blog and I found that Twitter was becoming a secondary blog that really kept me away from actually blogging and that very few people read.

    I too use RSS feeds for the majority of my info. I don’t see following things like Comcast or Netflix or Kline’s until there is information I want/need. I don’t want two RSS feeds.

    My mind still isn’t made up about it.

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  18. Chris Bell says:

    I agree with you about RSS Josh. At first I didnt really get it but once google reader came along thats pretty much all i look at. I don’t think i even know how to “surf” anymore without RSS.

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  19. Renee says:

    OK so I’ve had a lot to say about Twitter to people I talk to, and have come to some conclusions – the main one being that if you don’t “get” twitter, you just haven’t used it yet! or used it “right”. Twitter is impersonal enough not to feel invasive (people can’t see when you’re online, and don’t chat with you directly like IM where you are expected to respond immediately) but personal enough to feel friendly (I have met many locals and gotten to know their personalities to some extent via Twitter, at least I know what each person finds interesting enough to tweet about). It can lead to meeting new people or drumming up business, if used right.

    I’ve seen people of all ages and walks of life get “into” twitter, so I don’t think it’s a generational thing as much as Facebook is (or was). It’s an easy way to get into “blogging” without needing a blog, “chatting” without needing a chat client or being able to type fast enough to keep up with the youngsters in a conversation, and generally keeping up with what news is going around the web.

    I HATE when people put it down without understanding it, like “Why would I want to know what you ate for lunch?” – that’s totally missing the point.

    I think the best way to explain it may be the “water cooler” of the internet, especially for those of us that work in very small businesses and/or at home. I’ll explain my perspective, then reply to some comments I just read above.

    I took this opportunity to look back at some of my first tweets. I got into twitter at first because of hburgnews. Brent wanted a way for readers to “report from the field” and get engaged in the blog that way (also known as “crowdsourcing”), and I wanted to live-blog the Obama rally. I also now “follow” other local twitterers that report #hburgnews tweets and subscribe to some by phone so I can receive the local news tweets instantly as texts.

    I remember one time the power went out in the ‘burg and we were all communicating where the outages were via twitter.

    My first tweet was:
    “Signing up for twitter so i can stay in touch while at Obama rally in H’burg on Tuesday!”10:33 PM Oct 26th, 2008 from web

    Since then, I’ve used twitter to post updates to hburgnews, to broadcast my shared Google Reader feeds (articles I read that I find interesting enough to share), and interact with other people.

    Some interesting tidbits from my twitter experience:

    A friend from high school randomly found me on Twitter because he was looking at the @pandora_radio tweets and I had just sent in some feedback to them, and he recognized my screen name. We now talk politics (he’s a Republican, I’m not)

    @adam_sharp was wondering why Kline’s didn’t use twitter to post their flavor of the week, so I emailed them and they had an account set up within a few days, @Klines_dairybar. They already have 29 followers since Feb 28.

    I heard a piece of a report I liked on BBC radio (on XM), emailed them to find out where to find the full report audio online, was curious about the British reporter and looked him up on Google, found his blog, and eventually found him on Twitter @loosewire. It says he is in Singapore. I have now had personal mini-conversations with a British reporter in Singapore and complimented him on his reporting – how else would that have ever happened?

    CNN now uses twitter to get live feedback from their readers, and one of my comments was on the air a while back: http://search.twitter.com/search?q=from%3Apaix120+%40ricksanchezcnn

    Many politicians use twitter now. Some really use it to its full advantage, like @johnculberson, both tweeting updates and getting feedback from constituents.

    That leads to my next point. Ways NOT to use twitter:

    -”spamming” people with junk sales tweets

    -posting everything you eat or see or do (of course, occasionally this is fine, especially when it’s interesting, but I doubt many people want to know that you are doing at every moment of every day to every mundane detail)

    -ignoring people that reply to you. any business on twitter should have someone dedicated to writing back to most, if not all, of the replies

    -posting all impersonal feeds. Some people will follow a blog’s feed via Twitter, but it should be supplemented by some real “tweets”. When I started sharing all of my Google Reader feeds, it got to be too much for some people to want to follow me, so I moved them to a separate account @paix120_feeds

    -following thousands of people just so they will see you and maybe follow you

    -folowing too many people to keep up with (I’ve un-followed some feeds and moved them to my feed reader so I can easily read all of my “friend” tweets)

    Anyway, I’m babbling on, and maybe one day I’ll write a coherent analysis of the importance of Twitter, especially to the “local scene” but I’m sure you can see how useful I think twitter is.

    Also, I got a timely thing in the mail today – “Network World” magazine has a “Trend Watch” on the cover that says “Tweet to Compete – Smart social networking has become essential for most IT execs.”

    Thanks to Brent for bringing up Twitter usage on hburgnews, Brent. I’ve meet a lot of “hburgnewsers” on Twitter, and seen more in recent weeks, and I think it’s an invaluable resource for knowing what’s going on in the ‘burg!

    P.S. You can see any twitter user’s tweets (without subscribing) by going to twitter.com/username, like mine is http://www.twitter.com/paix120

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  20. Renee says:

    P.P.S. You can tell I’m the babbling type and am not normally brief in my comments, yet I do surprisingly well with the 140-char limit per tweet!

    Barkley, you may want to try twitter. If you like commenting here, twitter may be a good “entry point” to the modern era :)

    JGF, love the bumper sticker idea! Also, you don’t have to be old to appreciate punctuation in emails – my mom hates typing and therefore generally types short emails in all lowercase with little punctuation, and I’m the one that uses complete sentences and capitalizes!

    I agree with people above about the usefulness of RSS feeds and a good feed reader like Google Reader. I really use feeds and Twitter for different things, though. I’m not sure how you could use either one in place of the other.

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  21. Honestly, I thought Twitter was a pointless waste of time when it started becoming popular with my friends. But, I just started using it myself last week, and I really enjoy it! It’s a fun, light-hearted system that compliments more serious blogs nicely.

    I’m on there as Lupinia :-)

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  22. Evan says:

    Nice novel, Renee! :)

    My basic thought after experimenting for a while with it is that, just like many other technologies, twitter is what you make it. And that’s what is so great about it.

    For example, if you want to make it a simple way to keep tabs on family members and their personal lives, you can. If you want to post business projects underway and keep up on your professional contacts and their projects, you can. It’s only up to you.

    If it’s ‘retarded’, then make it cool to you.

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  23. Renee says:

    Haha thanks Evan. Good point about making it cool to you.

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  24. Deb SF says:

    Another dinosaur here.

    No facebook, no twitter for me (though I do have a cell-phone). I really think some of this stuff is changing how our brains work, crippling the ability to focus on long pieces for long periods of time and altering the fundamental way we think. Like any technological adaptation, we’ll see social, cultural, cognitive and physiological changes due to the types of technology we adapt. Some, though, only with hindsight. This recent article from the Washington Post notes the following (yeh, but I found it on paper, am sharing it electronically):

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/21/AR2009022101863_2.html?nav=hcmodule

    At George Mason University, professor Peter Pober advised faculty members at a recent brown-bag to limit their sentences to eight words or fewer during lectures, especially in introductory classes.
    “We used to be fine with 12- to 14-word sentences,” he said. No more, he said. With the advent of texting and other rapid communication, student focus has diminished. “I definitely think there is some relation,” he said. “We’re still at the groundwork of trying to figure out what that is.”

    Certainly, it’s how you use it. But for those who use it, it changes you. The way you read even changes. From “People of the Screen”

    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/people-of-the-screen

    Some snips:

    British neuroscientist Susan Greenfield argues that the time we spend in front of the computer and television is creating a two-class society: people of the screen and people of the book. The former, according to new neurological research, are exposing themselves to excessive amounts of dopamine, the natural chemical neurotransmitter produced by the brain. This in turn can lead to the suppression of activity in the prefrontal cortex, which controls functions such as measuring risk and considering the consequences of one’s actions.

    and…

    …..Jakob Nielsen, a former software engineer and a widely respected expert on Web page usability, found in his research on screen reading. Rather than reading deliberately, when we scan the screen in search of content our eyes follow an F-shaped pattern, quickly darting across text in search of the central nugget of information we seek. “?Reading’ is not even the right word” to describe this activity, Nielsen pointedly says.

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  25. Still, I see Twitter as a powerful citizen journalism tool. If even 25% of people living in Harrisonburg-Rockingham had it on their cell phones, and were using it “for emergency purposes only,” in conjunction with the hburgnews hashtag, I’d imagine there would be few car crashes, fires, and other local news events that would go unnoticed by the online community.

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  26. cook says:

    Dinosaurs don’t post on blogs.

    I’m still trying to make sense of Twitter. Does it make us a more connected community? I think so. But are they “real” connections? I’m not sure yet. Do I want to be this connected? Not sure of that yet either.

    I turned my phone alert to “silent” because getting a tweet during family time (for example) disrupted my being present to my family.

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  27. JGFitzgerald says:

    From the standpoint of citizen journalism, Twitter could be the Headline News, or the first rough draft of journalism. Any personal enjoyment of it has, however, been destroyed by Garry Trudeau this week.

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  28. Chris Bell says:

    I agree that Twitter is great for news and up to date things and what not. It’s just the other things it’s used for I think are stupid. I remember hearing someone on NPR a couple weeks ago who was talking about the effects of texting and twittering on our relationships with each other and he said something to the effect of “we are no longer having conversations, we are just sending messages”

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  29. bill says:

    I worry about people using twitter on the road. Their is a serious epidemic of texting behind the wheel already. Having people rush to report accidents while driving may just create more news unnecessarily

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  30. Renee says:

    Yes, it’s important to keep the incoming text message tweets down be only selecting to receive them from a small set of people, and silence the sound during family time (good choice cook). It’s also not appropriate for deep personal relationships, and it’s bad to text while driving.

    So I agree with you all on the “negatives” but I don’t think those are bad things about Twitter itself – you could say the exact same things about IM and text messages, of course. It’s a matter of how people choose to use Twitter.

    Like I hinted to above, it’s much like an “office water cooler” for me. A way to hear the latest political gossip, or bounce ideas off of people, or find out what’s going on around town. It’s the speed of communication.

    DebSF, I’m not sure about whether these new tools decrease the attention span. The kid with the longest deepest attention span I know is also an avid texter. I know I have always had a short attention span, even when I was young and there were no cell phones and my TV watching was very limited.

    I would guess the speed at which info travels now decrease patience, though. Us young’uns expect immediate information and aren’t patient with old ways of doing things, like waiting for a newspaper to arrive to know the latest news. Most of us want things fast – like Easy Mac (microwaveable macaroni & cheese), even if the quality doesn’t compare to the longer version.

    And attention span & patience are 2 different things to me. Being able to think long and deep about a topic is what I believe you are referring to, which is what I mean by attention span. Patience is being willing to wait for something, and that’s different. It doesn’t mean the capacity for deep thought is diminishing.

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  31. Renee,

    Thanks for your suggestions. As cook notes, I am mostly teasing about myself about being a dinosaur, as I do a lot of blogging, including being a co-blogger on econospeak, which is currently the 39th most read economics blog in the world out of several hundred, plus, as DebSF can probably attest, I am a dangerous presence on quite a few of the most widely read econoblogs, raining fire and brimstone down on idiots and fools across the spectrum. So, there is a matter of time spent on these things, and my wife already thinks I spend too much time blogging (and, as usual, she is right!).

    Well ahead of twittering, if I ever get to that (and I shall never do facebook), will be the cell phone and maybe the iPod, which given that I am really a big music fan is weird that I am still behind on. The argument for cell phones to me is the one Brent raises for twittering: emergency situations, especially when one is traveling or there is a health emergency. I have already suffered on both accounts for not having a cell phone.

    Also, I recognize that for the people running this blog, there is certainly the possibility of a “field reporting” advantage associated with twittering, although there is also this possibility of mindlessly silly wastes of time twittering along the “I am walking down the street eating a chocolate bar” lines. But then I have seen people doing that with cell phones as well, with the people who use the no-hands ones in airports and speaking very loudly about utter trivia with a very self-important air being especially annoying.

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  32. Thanh says:

    Interesting article on YahooTech today: http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/20090304/ap_on_hi_te/facebook_changes

    “The popular online hangout Facebook is revamping its home page and plans other changes so its millions of users can more easily choose the types of information they see.

    Perhaps taking a cue from Twitter…”

    http://www.facebook.com/sitetour/homepage_tour.php

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  33. Deb SF says:

    Renne, with due respect, attention span and patience *are* related, I think. If you’re faced with learning something that is not immediately interesting to you, is strange, or hard, or might make you uncomfortable, you have to be patient with the experience. You have to have the ability focus now while waiting for something other than an immediate payoff. Trust plays a part, too.

    IMing and texting and tweets all condition you to, effectively, only run intellectual sprints. You lose something. You get out of the habit of doing middle distances, much less marathons.

    And no, I’m not talking about the patience to play Guitar Hero for 3 hours, or to IM, or text till 4AM. Plenty of people can do that; it’s 3 hours of steady IV-2-the-brain gratification. I’m talking about the patience to focus on the hard stuff for more than 150 characters at a time, to not expect instant pleasure or quick payoff, to know that to learn a lot of useful and important stuff requires work. And time. Sometimes lots of it. I suspect that people now entering their 20′s who can do this are going to be rarer than in my generation, and will earn a payoff in terms of higher wages and better jobs as a result. Hell, just being able to write with correct punctuation and grammar is already a valuable commodity, according to some of the business advisory committee’s I’ve listened to in the Valley.

    Brent, doesn’t twitter just outright nuke most of the characteristics of good journalism- not the what, but the how, who, when, why? Folks complain here often (I’m looking at you, JGF) about the poor standards of DNR coverage. How does twitter help? Is it supposed to compliment news-producing organizations? Is it important for me to know about a fire at 5PM tonight – just knowing the what- rather than waiting and finding out the rest of the how, who, where, when and why tomorrow morning?

    Cook, I am a dino about this, and an extremely skeptical one, who tends to consider the unintended consequences of technological change(but not a Luddite, I hope). It’s partially the natural resistance to change everyone feels as they get older, but it’s also being around long enough to see a few full cycles of technological adaptation, from birth-2-death. Twitter and texting allow people to live an “accompanied life” every waking minute. There are real costs to that.

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  34. Emmy says:

    Well my 8-year-old son already only has the patience for the things he’s truly interested, so I guess we’re screwed because he doesn’t text or use Twitter. He can tell you more about Native Americans, Martin Luther King or the Ancient Egyptians than you ever wanted to know. His handwriting sucks though so there will come a day when his teacher will be happy to have his work turned in typed.

    I honestly don’t think Twitter changes who we are or how we learn. I don’t think it changes our patience either. Twitter is a fad. I could be wrong, and I have been plenty of times, but I think it will be replaced by something else eventually. I don’t think it will change us as humans unless we let it.

    Through sites like this blog, Twitter and Facebook I have made real human connections I wouldn’t have otherwise. Renee has helped me more times than I can count with various issues through Twitter. She helped myself and another woman who were both having an issue with some videos we had recorded.

    Tomorrow night I’m meeting someone in person who I “met” through this blog and Facebook. So through those sites I will have made a human connection that I may not have otherwise. We both have young children, share common interests and have the potential to be good friends, but I’m not sure our paths would have ever crossed otherwise.

    I’ll admit that there is a lot of degradation to the personal connections we used to make in this world thanks to technology. But, I also know that the ability to have information travel quickly has helped me more times than I can count and made my real life a whole lot better.

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  35. Renee says:

    I agree that personal communication can be degraded via these “short burst” technologies. I think younger generations may not be learning how to fully communicate deeply face to face.

    About patience vs. attention span – depending on how you’re using the terms, yes they are related. I was trying to differentiate to make a point.

    1) I have a very short (ADD) attention span. However, I’m a quick learner, and I’d like to think patient enough to learn something difficult (like computer programming) when necessary. Also, I twitter/email all the time and don’t think my spelling and/or punctuation suffer because of it. Sometimes I do abbreviate or eliminate punctuation for a short text message, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t do well on the SATs :)

    2) I know a kid that is in the get-everything-quick generation and texts all the time. However, he has a much longer focus time than I do and gets better grades than I did in high school because of his willingness to study for long periods of time. Though, he does probably send/receive like 50 texts a day.

    All I’m saying is that I don’t think these new technologies reduce our attention spans where they’re necessary, such as for in-depth learning. (I think I’d have a short attention span even if I lived in ancient times.) But I do think they do, and should, reduce our patience when it comes to waiting for information. I want to learn fast! Quick! Now!

    I don’t want to have to wait for that computer programming textbook to arrive in the mail, I want to look up my problem on a forum and solve it within the hour. I don’t want to wait for the evening news to come on to find out whether the lights were flickering only in my office building, or whether there were in fact rolling blackouts in Harrisonburg tonight. I, and I think many people my age, are impatient when it comes to waiting for things, because we don’t have to very often anymore. However, I don’t think our attention spans are affected.

    Emmy, it is great your son is interested in History! Keep encouraging him and don’t worry that his attention span is short on other subjects.

    Also, for what it’s worth, I’m slowly realizing that Twitter didn’t start out with the college crowd the same way Facebook did. (And with Facebook’s new Twitter-like changes Thanh pointed out, I wonder if people that use Facebook faithfully will ever see the need for Twitter) I think it got popular with the 25-35 crowd first and is working its way out from there.

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  36. Chris Bell says:

    Emmy… well put “Twitter is a fad”. Just today google CEO was quoted as saying “twitter is the poormans email”. Its like a blog with none of the functionality of commenting, threads and RSS and like email, but you’re not able to do have half the stuff email can do either. It’s like a blog for people who are too dumb or lazy to make. I’m just pissed I didn’t think of it first :)

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  37. Renee says:

    “twitter is the poormans email” – um, email is free (and twitter is not meant to replace email)

    “Its like a blog with none of the functionality of commenting, threads and RSS and like email, but you’re not able to do have half the stuff email can do either.” – I blog, use RSS, and email, and still use Twitter, too. It doesn’t have the functionality of any of those 3 because it is not trying to compete with those. It has its place in the array of online tools available to us right now.

    “It’s like a blog for people who are too dumb or lazy to make.” – Many of the people on Twitter ARE bloggers (including people on this thread), so that doesn’t make any sense.

    I also have to disagree that Twitter is a fad. It does need some functional improvements, but overall, it’s too useful to die out just yet. You could label sites like MySpace as fads, but look at the slew of other sites its popularity inspired (including, I think, Facebook). Facebook is now copying Twitter’s functionality, and using it in a smart way for Facebookers, I think. – Imitation is the best flattery, right?

    OK, I’m done Twitter-evangelizing for now. Honestly, sit down with someone that really uses it and see how useful it is. I think it filled an important niche, and what other online service fits so well with SMS?

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  38. Justin says:

    I feel like MySpace and Facebook had people all a “twitter” a long time ago. But Twitter saw the importance of status updates and made a service just about that.

    I feel like any way you apply Twitter, you could equally apply to Facebook, a blog’s RSS feed, Myspace, a newsgroup… The people you need to check it and use it need to be all using the same site.

    For instance, if everyone added Comcast as a Facebook friend, everyone would see their updates, everyone would see people they know posting to or commenting on Comcast’s page, etc.

    Maybe I’ll adopt Twitter as my sole way of communicating to Hburgnews people. Facebook is for friends. My blog is for family. Sure there are lots of lines crossed in between.

    Twitter is no more an innovation that Facebook or Myspace in my opinion. It’s another blogging service for content that isn’t worth a full blog. And when people post links and pictures in Twitter, I wonder why they don’t post it on their rss feed.

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  39. Barb says:

    All these posts, and still on topic!

    I don’t use Twitter. I have both MySpace and Facebook accounts which I seldom access. Most of the time I feel maxed out with information. I’m cutting back on my ‘net time, because when all is said and done, what exactly do I have to show for it? Twitter, for me, would be just more unedited info cluttering up my limited brain…

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  40. Renee says:

    Yeah, I know what you mean about being overloaded, Barb. I don’t have MySpace or Facebook – and that is one major reason. Twitter just fits well with my online “presence”.

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  41. Every few weeks or so, if I’m so busy with other things that I don’t check Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, or Google Reader for a day, I get short, mild “panic attacks” (for lack of a better term) where I feel like I’m hopelessly behind. When in reality, I’m only several hours behind, and I haven’t really missed much anyway.

    I’m sure some reporters feel the same way if they take a few days off, and they’re behind on the most recent developments in the news.

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  42. Renee says:

    Brent, I know what you mean. It’s a similar feeling to realizing I left my cell phone at home – feeling out of touch with normally instant communication.

    But when I’m missing all of that stuff for an out of town work meeting or something like that, I don’t feel worried about it as much as I just look forward to relaxing and catching up on blog reading, etc. at the end of a busy day.

       0 likes

  43. Having brought up those annoying people in airports who go around loudly spouting their inane nonsense into no-hands cell phones, I must note one virtue of twitter — twittering is silent, none of this taking over public spaces with one’s personal tripe.

       0 likes

  44. Josh says:

    An interesting twitter experiment:

    The Tweet to Beat: Paying $3 Per Twitter Follower
    http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2009/03/09/tweet-to-beat/

    “The gist: To benefit U.S. public school students, I will bribe the entire world to follow me on Twitter for $3 each.”

       0 likes

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