I signed up for an account with Twitter my sophomore year of college – 2006 – for an interactive media class that was all about user interface, social media, among other things. We had to sign up for an account but we never did anything with it. I never used it and hardly knew what the site was about.
Fast forward to several months ago when Twitter was becoming really popular. I remembered about my lonely account and started tweeting again. I am a fairly casual tweeter. I don’t do it everyday, and most of my tweets are somewhat vague. I feel like my twitter self is much more mysterious than my facebook self. I think that’s why I love the site so much. Twitter challenges one to creatively update within 140 characters. How you express yourself is severely limited (unless you put the same thought into multiple tweet, which I don’t care for), so it forces you to be so much more selective in your word selection. I guess what I’m trying to say about Twitter is that its creativity and customization lies within its constraints. I enjoy the challenge of wording a sentence (or a thought) within that constraint. It’s like painting with a limited color palette.
It’s an extremely interactive site and although a simple concept, has really blossomed into something much more complex and interesting. There are trending topics that users can participate in such as #charitytuesday (people tweeting about charities they support). People also tweet about the news as its happening, giving their opinions on the situation. I have generally started looking at Twitter before I’ll look at CNN or NYTimes or something like that. Twitter feed is more instantaneous and easier for me to navigate. Since I’ve started doing this, the folks at Twitter have started giving short summaries about the trending topics going on. If I want to have an idea of what is going on at that second, I go to Twitter. I also follow news organizations on Twitter, which give me headlines, too.
I’ll be curious to see how Twitter continues to reinvent itself as time goes on and continue to keep itself relevant with new social media.
Also: exciting stuff on the horizon! Look for it in the coming weeks.