The following is something I wrote in a forum for a podcast network that I frequent (GSPN). There was a post from one member who was getting off of Twitter because it was sucking up his time, as many things on the Internet can. It prompted me to write something on the forum that I’d been thinking about for a while, and cross-post it here.
(FYI, the status update to which I comment "Guess who this is?" is the update of the guy who runs GSPN, Cliff Ravenscraft, announcing the availability of new episodes of some of his podcasts.)
Personally, I never really "got" Twitter. Seemed to me a nifty new technology looking for an application. The elevating of the mundane ("I’m going to work", "I’m at work", "I’m leaving for home", "Going to see movie X") didn’t seem like it would be sustaining. You can only read mundane messages for so long before it’s just, well, mundane. The technology is snazzy, no doubt, but the application didn’t seem to click with me.
I’m on Facebook, and their status updates, Twitter-like as they are, don’t excite me much either. I’m much more interested in two-way communication, so the messages you can send back and forth, or even the blog-like notes you can write, are much more interesting to me than "Going to lunch with my Senator". OK, that’s cool and all, but write it up later on; *that* would be interesting (me being a political junkie).
I do see applications for this, and in that space I can see how it can be useful. Cliff posts Facebook (and I assume Twitter) updates when he releases new shows, and for those waiting on those shows that can be helpful. (But it is any more helpful or timely than just checking new posts to the GSPN website via an RSS feed? I mean, if you have to hear the next episode just as soon as humanly possible, all well and good, but most of us can wait until our podcatcher picks it up on its next run.)
I’ve heard of software development teams using it to keep their widely-scattered team up-to-date on what they’re working on. Sounds great, and a blog would be overkill for something like this.
But here’s my most recent Facebook status updates as an example.
(so-and-so) is preparing to really do some writing tomorrow after faffing about today and just reading. [Nice, but writing about what, and what have you been reading. Expounding on that is too much for a status update.]
(so-and-so) is getting ready for tomorrow and Saturday. [Mundane]
(so-and-so) Released Almost Daily Devotional #70 & My Crazy Life #276. I very thankfully added our 142nd gspn.tv Plus Member. Looking forward to 143rd! [Guess who’s this is? ;) See above.]
(so-and-so) will never "assume" again. [Meaning? This guy needs a blog.]
(so-and-so) is Reading a book called River of Mercy w/ Spiritual Journal. [Informative, and invites those who have also read it to write to her. Again, a blog would give this person a way to communicate to anyone who’s read it (and those who haven’t) all at once with their thoughts.]
And the next one down says it all:
(so-and-so) should be doing something other than facebook:-).
Blogging is still a rather geeky thing, but I think Facebook can make this simpler for folks. They don’t need to create a new account with Blogger or WordPress.org, they have a built-in audience of people they know, you write it once instead of a bunch of different e-mails/messages, and it’s far more interesting to read than one-liners that either don’t say anything or make the reader beg for details.
OK, off my soapbox. (…and onto my blog; I think this qualifies for a post on it) ;D