Saturday, June 26, 2010

To tweet or not to tweet

Twitter has recently reached widespread fame and usage. It seems that everyone is twittering now. When I listen to the news on my car radio on my commute to work I hear the news anchor announcing the station's twitter url. Some banks advertise their twitter accounts as way of getting feedback from their clients. In class, I have observed that most of my students are connected to twitter. However, at the same time I see how people use twitter and I kind of understand why some object joining it and dismiss it as a useless tool, or just passing fad that will go away. They might be right, but while the hype lasts, some of us can get the best it has to offer: its capabilities for sharing, getting news, and keep connected to your friends and updated on your interests.
Twitter is for me like my daily news. The difference is that I get the news every time I turn my computer on. Besides that, I also get updates while I am working on it. Some people claim it is overwhelming and distracting, but so is everything in life. We are always filtering information whenever we read newspapers or magazines, surf TV,  radio channels or the web. Twitter is just the same. Besides being a source of daily/breaking news, it is also a way of sharing things I find on the web with the people that follow me. In this sense, it is a sharing button: a good way of spreading news other than sending an e-mail with a link to your friend without the need of a reply. Moreover, it is also a way of being ubiquitous (if this is possible) due to its integration features. Even in cyberspace, we cannot be everywhere, but twitter allows us to be in many places. I myself have connected my account to my posterous blog (which is connected to my blogger blog, tumblr, wordpress, and friendly feed), to simplybox and diigo (which allows people connected to my twitter see the things I bookmark), to facebook, and other services that I cannot recall right now or may feel a bit lazy to list them all (or might not want to make it boring for my readers). I see the later features as a good way to establish a reasonable online presence. To sum it up, in my opinion, twitter can be a great tool if it is used wisely.

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