Thursday, May 17, 2007

Kinda Cool, Kinda Creepy

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).

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've been hearing about Twitter from various sources I read, but I must say that I don't get it. I mean, I understand how it works, but I don't understand why anyone would want to do it.

Your reasons make sense, especially the shameless self-promotion. The best reason of all.

Geekbert, does Twitter text/email you periodically or something and ask you what you are doing (prompting you to post something)? That's the only way it would work for me. I would never think to Twitter people telling them that I'm sitting here eating lunch and reading geekbert.

Also, this might be of interest to you (I thought it was interesting): Someone online opined that blogging was becoming more and more journalistic and Twittering was becoming more and more social. In other words, people who might have started a blog to keep in touch with friends are now increasingly Twittering instead. This leaves the blogosphere for us "serious" writers, like me who hasn't posted anything in more than a month.

Anonymous said...

Did you find a lawn mower?

Mitchell said...

Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday dear geekbert.
Happy birthday to you.

Unknown said...

Brian, it's okay that you don't post on your blog often; you write entries here all the time. :-) Just kidding, I love the comments. Twitter does let you turn on an option to get a reminder if you haven't posted in 24 hrs. It makes sense to me that chat-bloggers would prefer twitter. If you watch the twitter public timeline, you'll see people beginning entries with "@name." They are in essense blast IMing each other.

Wife, I found a great deal on a mower and your lawn will be beautiful tomorrow!

Mitchell, thanks bro!

Scott Donnelly said...

Happy Birthday! I am a Twitt now too... I have no idea why (like Brian said) but I am on Twitter.

Unknown said...

Scott, now we can share the details of our pitiful lives. You can get Twitterific, a little helper app, and not have to go to the web to post and get updates. I use txting too because I have unlimited txts. Twitterific is free.

madridmom said...

Happy Birthday! Surfed on over here from your wife's blog.
Alice

Anonymous said...

BTW, GB: I'm loving the RSS comments feed. Thanks so, so much!

And, Happy Birthday!

See, if I were going to Twitter, and I will not, I would need it to buzz me at random, interrupt what I'm doing and say, "What are you doing right now?" Then I could answer that question and be a good Twitterer. It's crack-a-lackin.

Maybe it should ask me, "What should you be doing right now?" Then it would be a productivity aid.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Larry!!! Hope you have a fabulous day!!!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Larry!!!

fressman & family said...

Happy Birthday, Larry! You're officially closer to 40 than you are to 30 now!

Anonymous said...

happy belated birthday...I'll join you in 35-land soon...

A Weaver's Touch said...

This is what I forget for missing two days of checking in on Julie - - - so now my birthday wishes to you are belated - But happy birthday from someone a LITTLE bit older! (That should make you feel good! Even though I'm not even sure you know me! Ha ha)

Unknown said...

Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes! It's never too late to send good will to a friend. My wife and kids gave me an awesome birthday full of fun with them. I'm thankful for them so many good friends.