After resisting since its inception, I broke down and got myself a Twitter account.
I’ve been listening to a great deal of Frog Pants Network podcasts while driving to and from work (specifically, the Morning Stream, the Instance, and Film Sack). The hosts are all very active on Twitter. When one encounters enthusiasm for a thing, that enthusiasm tends to spill over. That’s at least part of it. Scalzi and a number of other persons of interest to me are also active on Twitter, which is another factor. I think, though, that the tipping point came when those two components combined with the impact that social media as a whole seems to be having on the protests in Egypt. Its actual level of impact may be vastly overhyped, much as everything “novel” is vastly overhyped when it plays even a small role, but regardless of scope, it’s been involved.
For a long time, Facebook, Twitter, and the various other Web 2.0 social media titans have seemed to me little more than a gimmick. True, I rely on Facebook heavily for orchestrating activities with friends, but other than a tool to do that, it’s largely a sea of noise. It seemed to me that Twitter was all of the noise with none of the utility. But once one is confronted with the idea that these gimmicky-seeming things can actually have a real impact on real social causes in this interconnected world, one has little choice but to swallow one’s pride and accept it.
I also have to admit that I like how much integration I can achieve between Facebook, Twitter, and this blog. I can tweet (I still hate that verb used in this context) and have it show up on both Facebook and here in the blog’s side bar. I like that quite a lot.
We’ll see how long my enthusiasm for it lasts.