So all the world is in a twitter at the moment. Mini updates of what people are doing appears to have really hit a tipping point with nods to the micro-blogging tool on both the BBC and The Guardian in recent days. With the Fail Whale seemingly sleeping at the bottom of the Web 2.0, presently Twitter is enjoying its day in the sun and rightly so.
This year I've learnt to use the free service in a fantastic variety of ways that has seen me juggle work, friends and entertainment . I'm not saying it is the be all and end all, but it has certainly helped to make my life a little more efficient.
- At work, we use the twitter service to update users and followers on the status of the site and the service. In a tricky year of tech releases it has been a great tool turn to.
- I've kept in touch with friends and colleagues that perhaps are not normally on my to-call list. That may sound mean but hey there is only so much time and so many people you can catch up with. Twitter has helped to fill the gaps.
- I've got updates on various news events, sporting events (I love the Test Match Special feed that went out in the summer and expect great things of it come Ashes time) without having to rifle through various websites or RRS feeds. It has in that respect been a great time saver.
- It's made me learn of new things, new web sites, new opportunities and new people. You can follow thought leaders in every sense without having to necessarily know them or connect with them. That is very useful and one of the more generous facets of Twitter.
- I've laughed and cried at the various tweets that people leave. You can learn a lot more sometimes in 140 characters, where brevity is king, than you would from an elongated blog post.
I do though have one hunch that I wanted to share. When I started to follow Stephen Fry recently I enjoyed the chance to "hang out" with a celebrity for a while. It was interesting to see what he was doing, where he was going, what projects he was working on. When he started to follow me in kind I have to admit I was rather stunned and it got me wondering if this was the tool that all celebrities should start to embrace. Given that they all have mobile phones and that there is a plethora of good Twitter applications for mobile use, it seems that perhaps this is the mode through which celebrities, politicians and the like can start to keep their fans or followers up to date whilst perhaps dilutting the demands of the papperazzi. Now for some (the god awful Jodie Marsh immeadiately pops into mind), the oxygen of publicity is what fuels their success, but I can see how for some fans, just knowing what their heroes and idols are up to is enough. If I look at it from a Watford supporting angle I would love to hear what some of the players do and think at certain points of the day (if only to confirm that its not all rounds of golf and playstation 3). If it gets too boring, simple, you just unfollow them.
It has worked for Stephen Fry, and I'd wager has helped him develop a new base of followers (read fans). Jonathan Ross appears to be convelessing his way through his recent trials and tribulations via Twitter and last week I was able to read what ex-England Rugby captain Will Carling thought of the Christmas presents he received. For the celebrity it keeps them alive, it keeps them active in their fanbase's mind and probably pleases their agent and publicists no end. It also goes someway to proving that we are all human and somewhat similar when you peel away that top veneer of global success. I quite like that aspect of it really.
You can of course follow me here