Just watched this video preview of the new interface for Twitter. The interface looks great and reminds me a little of the iPad Twitter app. It’s being rolled out gradually, so I hope I get to check it soon! Video promo is really well done, too.
I’ve been sitting up against a milestone in my life. I’m about tweet for the 5,000th time. In fact if I time things right, this blog post announcement auto-tweet will be my 5,000th. It’s not really that life-changing of an event, but I figured now would be a good time to reflect on some of the highlights and mistakes I’ve made using twitter.
Here are some of my highlights looking back:
Announced the birth of both of my girls via twitter.
Shared numerous links that I liked or found interesting.
Helped my dad sell his iPhone 3G.
Met some new friends.
Gave away a Mavericks ticket (or two).
Learned some cool stuff from others.
Publicly affirmed friends and family.
And here are some mistakes I’ve made along the way:
Tweeted about some monotonous details of my life.
Complained about being in boring meetings (and later called out about it).
Paid too much attention to my phone when I should have paid attention to the people around me.
Spoke more than listened.
Gave TMI quite a few times.
Ignored twitter for large chunks of time.
Felt like having more followers somehow made me more important.
Ultimately I’ve decided that the reason I tweet is to add value to the lives of others. That might be random thoughts I have throughout the day. It might be sharing a link to a site I find useful. Or it might be just to share a little bit more about who I really am so people can know the real me a little better.
Those are just a few thoughts I’ve had looking back. What are your thoughts about twitter? Do you have any tweets you’ve regretted posting? If you follow my tweets, what do you like best? What should I stop doing?
I’ve had two thoughts about Twitter that I need to get out there.
First, Twitter needs to make money. They can’t continue on venture capital for much longer. People will only throw money at a business opportunity that doesn’t make any money for as long as they can see potential. At some point unfulfilled potential becomes no potential. If Twitter can’t monetize their service soon they’ll dissolve away into only our memories as many websites have done before.
Second, Twitter needs to overhaul their ridiculous “replies” system. It’s not really a reply at all. Basically, you’re just tweeting something to or about another person that may or may not have anything to do with what that person just tweeted. It doesn’t really allow a person to “reply” to what somebody has said. But the current system does have value and shouldn’t be eliminated. I like the functionality it provides, but it’s not a true reply. What they need to do is create a reply/comment tree setup that both friendfeed and facebook have figured out how to do. This would allow people to actually have more real conversations instead of just the name-dropping or shout outs that happen now. This would make the service much more useful.
Twitter has gained popularity over the past few years, but still many people have never heard of it. I got into to twitter about a year ago almost by accident. I had heard of it, but really didn’t seem interested at all. That is until I realized that I could add tasks to the new online task management service that I had just started using (more on that in another post).
The basic idea behind twitter is that you simply answer the question, “What are you doing?” It’s very similar to facebook’s status updates. In fact you can have twitter automatically update your status on facebook, too. You can share your thoughts, what you had for lunch, or just random nothingness throughout the day.
When I really started being a frequent user of twitter, many of my facebook friends were wondering why I was updating my status so often. I told that I was using twitter and they basically gave me blank stares. The event that really changed my use of twitter the most was when Emory was born. I decided that I would keep people updated by sending frequent updates via twitter. I figured that would be the easiest and best way to keep everyone informed without having to make a bunch of callas or texts. It turned out to be a really cool experience both for me and for the dozens of people that told me they were following along with my updates.
I can’t fully nail down why I’m hooked to twitter now, but after using it this long I know I’m hooked. It’s fun and it’s also an outlet for me to post my thoughts that aren’t really long enough for a blog post.