June 7, 2009
Twitter as a News Filter
A post on my web host's forum prompted me to join Twitter breaking down my resistance to joining social networks on the Internet. While I have been active for years on forums, long before Brenners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, I'm just too private a person to want to join a bunch strangers just to chit-chat with no stated purpose. Forums have a theme and I join only the ones that are of interest to me.
As I set out to explore Twitter I found several people I had met before either on the World Wide Web or in person. It was not strange to find Guy Kawasaki, the quintessential high-tech evangelist. I also found people who are closer to me: Aussie Bob, a.k.a. @aussiehost, the former owner of HTTPme.com, my web hosting service, and DuckTape, a.k.a. @CreativeNotice, a fellow client at HTTPme.com.
As originally conceived, in the 140 character text box you were supposed to answer the question "What are you doing?" A rather personal social network soon became a marketing tool. Now many people promote themselves and their products or their pet interests.
I have discovered a third use for Twitter, neither as a social networking nor a marketing tool. At this point in my life I have no interest in marketing and, as stated above, I tend to be rather private. By carefully selecting who you follow, you can create a filter that selects topics of interest for you while excluding most of the rest of the "noise" on the World Wide Web.