It was five years ago today that I started using Twitter as what would come to be known as "@danyork". October 24, 2006. I remember the date purely because "10/24" in the US way of writing dates is an über-geeky number (1 Kilobyte or 210). Yes, I remember things like this.
My recollection is that Chris Brogan sent out invites to a whole bunch of us bright-shiny-object-chasers and we all joined this new service called Twitter. This was before Chris became the rock star that he is today and in a much simpler time when all of us who were exploring this new world of "social media" were reading each other's blogs, listening to each other's podcasts, commenting on each other's content and generally interacting in a community of people seeking to understand where we could take all these technologies and tools. Anyway, Chris invited a bunch of us... my Mac Twitter client tells me Chris was Twitter user #10,202, I was #10,312, Doug Haslam was #10,396 and Jim Long (newmediajim) was #10,496. (Just some of the names I remember from that time.) It was a playground where all of us were trying to figure it all out.
The explosion was to come shortly thereafter.
After all these years, though, I still stand by what I wrote in some posts way back in 2007 and 2008:
- The 10 ways I learned to use Twitter in 2007... (aka Why and How I use Twitter)
- Revisiting "the 10 ways I learned to use Twitter"... and adding "Attention Lens" and "Presence"
- Business Week's "CEO's Guide to Microblogging" - and my part of the Debate Room piece (and my contribution)
A friend asked me on Twitter today: "Is Twitter really worth it, or a distraction?"
I still say that I find value in Twitter pretty much every day.
It has become part and parcel of my daily routine and how I interact with people on the Internet. It has become how I distribute info about content I write. It's how I learn of new things to pay attention to.
I still follow my general policy I laid out back in 2008 about whether or not I follow someone... and I'm still finding new and interesting people that I follow pretty regularly.
I do not though read the main feed very diligently... I may dip in from time to time... but most of my focused reading comes from various searches that I run on keywords of interest. I also use FlipBoard now and then on my iPad to browse when I just want to see what's going on.
It's been fascinating as the boundaries of our lives continue to blur to see who we use Twitter and all of these tools.
We're all collectively engaged in a grand experiment in openness. And brevity. What becomes of it none of us know.
All I can say is that I'm very much looking forward to seeing where Twitter and all of these services go over the next five years!
P.S. And yes, Twitter remains my daily practice with "brevity". Certainly a challenge for a writer like me ;-)
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