‘Why do you use Twitter’ is a question I am often asked by friends that either don’t use the service or have signed up, but not seen the point themselves. And I end up explaining the same things all over; I get to meet some great people, realise connections and, most importantly, I can stay in contact with people anywhere.
Over the years my usage of Twitter has changed to be something that I check constantly. On most days I will check Twitter more often than my emails and it is generally always running in the background.
I have now been on Twitter for 1404 days, I am following 696 people and have 903 followers. There was a point where I had over 1500 followers, but I blocked a large number of spammers and other people. I am also planning to reduce the number of people that I’m following soon, but that’s a bit difficult and will definitely require another blogpost at some point.
I have been on Twitter since the 29th of March 2007. I have seen the failwhale more often than new tweets in early 2008. Latest issues on Twitter are nothing compared to it! I have also been on Twitter since before @stephenfry tweeted about being stuck in a lift or even joined. And I have read more ‘everyone’s atwitter about Twitter’ posts and articles than I care to remember.
Twitter is great, because it allows anyone to communicate with anyone and I love how easy it is to comment on something. At the same time, there is also a downside, I remember at some point talking about Star Wreck negatively in an @reply only to have the creator apologise to me saying he was hoping the next one would be more enjoyable for me.
In these almost four years now I have met some great people from online communities, such as the large 360 community or other gaming communities I was a part of. Then I follow some people I have known through blogging for years. There are some former co-workers and, what has become the most important thing for me, the local Reading community and the #rdg hashtag, as well as the #rdgtweetup. Some of the people I have met through that have become good friends and most of the time we share other acquaintances. Reading, or rather the world, is a scarily small place sometimes.
And just this weekend I had one of those days that made me really appreciate Twitter. Once more!
My only plans for the day were to meet up with one of my ‘offline’ friends in town, something that actually fell through. Instead, mostly by chance, I met all of the above at some point or other mostly by chance.
- @deepwire for example saw the picture I had posted just before.
- @sahfenn checked into Foursquare nearby and I messaged her on Beluga to stop by for a coffee.
- @TheRockAcademy tweeted he was around to give me some fliers for the ‘Battle of the scool bands’.
- @dansgalaxy was looking for things to do post #DDD9 and ended up going for coffee and dinner with me and @MattPlatts.
- Later in the evening, as I was tweeting about an in-joke to some, @RobAshton mentioned he was in town and I went to see him and @itsajo and through that also met @cranialstrain and @magicbobson.
All that aside, I wouldn’t know any of these people if it wasn’t for Twitter. Sure, as it turned out months down the line, I have mutual friends or former colleagues in common with some, but I know quite a few people that only turned into friends after initially meeting them through Twitter.
And that is what Twitter does for me.