Some of you may have noticed in my sidebar lately there has been a box labeled "what I am doing..." As your geekbert, I feel it is my duty to apprise you of the latest fads and trends in the world of geekery. Twitter is one of these fads. Think "away message without the chat session."
In the "olden days" (last year), the kids would spend hours typing abbr.'d messages to each other (was chatting thought up by a junior high girl who was grounded from the phone?) and then when they had to go away from the computer, they'd put up an away message for fun or just so their friends know they're not available.
Twitter is kind of like combining the away message with the chat session to make a third something called the twitter. You post what you're doing at any given time and anyone following your posts gets the message. You can choose to receive your friends' updates in three ways: you can go to their twitter page, you can have them emailed to you, or you can have them sent as a text message to your mobile number. You can also post updates by texting them to 40404 once you've signed up for an account.
So now you're asking yourself, "Why would I want this?" Good question. I've thought of two reasons I could use it. First, I think it could be a fun way to keep in touch with your closest friends. Imagine you're having a rough day and all of a sudden you get a text from your close friend that says, "Ew! There's a hair in my Big Mac!" That would brighten my day. If you are in the pre-parent stage of life, it would also be fun to send an update that says something like, "Lunch at Tim's Deli; last one there buys!"
Then there's the professional geek reason. I turned on the option to have my posts appear on the public timeline. Yes, you can actually go to twitter's public timeline and just watch posts from all over the world about what people are doing. Believe it or not, a lot of people to that. It's kinda creepy, actually. Anyway, you'll notice that I will frequently be listed as "geeking out at www.geekbert.net." I'm trying to get people with nothing better to do than read twitter posts on the public timeline to see this blog. If they have time to twitter-gawk, then perhaps they might like to read geekbert.
If you check my twitter profile, you'll see I have no friends. Don't worry; I've gotten used to it. I'm happy to just use it as a tool for shameless self-promotion. However, if you feel compelled to rescue me from this lonely existence and become my friend, let me know you've signed up and I'll add you to my list. Just remember to make your posts private if you'd like to keep them from appearing on the public timeline (unless you too would like some shameless self-promotion).