Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Few Of My Favorite Tweets

I have been completely in love with the unlikely internet juggernaut that is Twitter for almost a year now, and I am still nearly always unable to describe it accurately to people who do not use it. Yes, it's like instant messaging, kind of. And kind of like a chat-room. And sort of like blogging--instantaneous micro-blogging, anyway. It comes from a wholly simple and straightforward place, asking simply, "What are you doing?" and then providing you with 140 characters worth of blank space to answer that question, as frequently or infrequently as you choose.

twitterfaves page 7

When I first entered the Twitter playground last year, most people simply answered the question, using the automatic placement of their username as the beginning of a declarative statement. As in, "ninjapoodles is waiting for the dryer to finish, awestruck at the glamor that is her life." For most folks, Twitter was pretty personal, and we followed mostly people we already knew, either in "real life" or online, and read their updates and posted our own. Then, a few months ago, the Twitter timeline somehow became a conversation. A live, constant, global conversation. New connections were made. In response to the ways that its users were utilizing the service, Twitter made changes to the way the application works. More and more, people were responding to each other directly, by placing '@' in front of another's username. Most of us added more and more followers, as we saw our friends responding to people we hadn't known about, and clicked over to their profiles and found that we liked them, too, and wanted to follow them.

Now, Twitter has added a wonderful little swooshy arrow at the end of each update, so that you can simply click on it to reply to the poster, without even having to type in their username yourself. As of this writing, I have posted a total of 5,836 updates on Twitter, received several hundred "DMs" (direct messages), and I'm following what seems like an insane number of people--353--and adding more daily. I don't automatically follow everyone who follows me, but I do follow anyone who interacts with me directly. In the beginning, I tried to keep a lid on the number of people I'd follow, because I couldn't keep up with a cluttered "timeline," but with the '@' feature, I can easily click on the "replies" tab and see if anyone has addressed me directly, without scanning back through the timeline.

There's also a "favorites" feature, where you can click a star next to a post and mark it as a favorite, for Twitter to save. Tonight was the first time I opened my "favorites" file and looked back on all the posts I'd saved. Here is a samping of updates which I found, for whatever reason, worthy of saving over the last year or so.

This screen-grab is a perfect illustration of how the Twitter timeline can capture the mundane, the angsty, the humorous, and the profound at a glance:

twitterfaves page 1

Some of the "Tweets" I save are replies to something I've posted, that made me laugh or meant something to me so that I wanted to remember them. Some struck me as funny:

twitter7 replymeg

twitter8 q,s,n

Others touched me (and probably now have meaning only to me):

twitter10 replymeg2

And some I save when people speak to me in languages from other planets:

twitter5 j

Some Tweets are two-parters (read from the bottom up):

twitter12 blacktar

Sometimes an exchange between others is so funny to me that I save the whole thing, like this one (yes, I am so good at screen captures that I left the cursor in the middle of the shot--that word is "idea"). Remember that the Twitter timeline posts the most recent updates at the top, so read exchanges from bottom to top:

twitter14 chair jen

But by far, the updates I "favorite" (one thing that really bugs me about the internet is the increasing creation of new verbs) most often are stand-alone posts, usually the ones that make me laugh. These, more than anything else, are probably what makes Twitter worth using for me. Forget "social media," networking, whatever...sometimes, I just want to see what other folks are doing, and hopefully have a chuckle.

twitter9 4

twitter6 mark

twitter4 meg

twitter3 nicole

twitter11 ward

twitter 8 5

twitter16 k, JP

twitter 15 Carrie

twitter17 newest

twitter1 Neil

So...What are you doing?

UPDATE: Edited to add this video (thanks, Zach!), explaining the bare-bones basics of Twitter to the uninitiated.



    i didn't even know you could favourite twitter posts!


  2. here's a good video for explaining Twitter. It's what I used for Jess ;-)

  3. Wow A for effort...
    awesome post and yes.. I am totally addicted to it and adding more blogs to feeders, etc

  4. dang it... I need to try harder.

  5. I don't think I've favorited any Twitters yet. I've been using it for a year, and embarrassingly, it's become my go-to venting too. (It's very good for that, by the way.)

  6. i just gave in and joined twitter on wednesday. i'm a total junkie now.

  7. I'm a total twitter addict, yet I haven't marked any as favorites yet. Methinks down that path lies madness. I already spend far too much time there.

  8. I love Twitter long time. People who don't use just 'don't get it.' Maybe that's because *I* don't know how to explain it either... hmm. I haven't marked a favorite since my first day. I'll have to get back on that!

  9. It's because I joined yesterday, right? Right? And you were all what can I do to mark this auspicious occasion of her inclusion to Twitter and then you came up with this.

    How nice of you. I'm going to send you some glitter and silver magic markers for that.

  10. I Twittered for a little while, but never got into the flow with it. There is so much to do and so little time:o)

  11. I have a twitter account. I've twittered before. Just never go into. It's now obvious to me that I'm missing out on all the funny things in life. I just spend the last 10 minutes laughing out loud. In my office at work. Alone.

    It was the best 10 minutes I've had in a while.

  12. @ninjapoodles! ah! i love your name. i came across you on twitter through @ErikaJurney and I think that the person that has a name (and blog) like ninjapoodles must be worth following.

    thanks for enhancing my twitter-universe!


  13. Love this post! I knew about being able to favorite but keep forgetting. I might not have ever "met" you if not for Twitter, so that alone means I owe Twitter something big.

  14. I must be following the wrong bunch cuz all I get is geek speak. damn!


  15. I laughed so hard at this. Also I totally forgot about that one twitter that I did that was even remotely funny. So now I can laugh at myself just as others do everyday.

    Seriously, very good compilation. 'A' for effort.

  16. I've been on Twitter for a few months, but have only recently had it become a major addiction. In any case (I am slapping myself right now for saying this), nice to Tweet you.

    Jane, Pinks & Blues

  17. I'm giggling at the comments and ticked that none of my twitters have become favorites. Have to work on being FAR more entertaining.

  18. I'm off to try to say something clever on twitter that you'll want to favorite :)

  19. Even if I don't make the screencaps, I LOVE this post... too many of those made me laugh heartily! :)

    So glad you're in my Twitterworld!!! :)

  20. I did a Twitter 101 post recently too. TWITTER ROCKS!

    LOL, great post.

  21. Great post! So now I'm searching for something witty to say so you will favorite one of my tweets.

    Um. Epic Fail.

  22. As for me, I just die laughing every time I see the name 'ninjapoodles'.

    So I had to come over to your blog and read more about you!

    Great post. And I totally ADORE your Twitter name.

  23. I love! swooshy arrow thingy, and the twitter; I love me the twitter in a very big, potentially obsessed sort of way.

  24. It was, indeed, a nice stapler.

  25. I'm scared of twitter. I don't need another reason to be on the internet all day. I'd have to insert a catheter and put a fridge in my office.

  26. Amazing post. Not only are you so damn funny AND you have a great blog name AND you are from a red state like me-----the fact that you could cut, paste and do all the images in the post is something that usually takes a village. You are the queen.
    Your humble WT Servant,
    White Trash Mom

  27. I love TWITTER. Out of all the social networks this one I never get tired of!

  28. So THAT'S why I like Twitter so much! I need to start using the "favorites" star.

  29. I was recently "initiated" and I love it! I just figured out how to work twitter on my blackberry and it is TOO FUN.

    I'm still laughing at Fluid Pudding's "grandma" tweet. TOO FUNNY!

  30. one of the better twitter overviews, thanks.