Maybe it was the lack of sleep, but I decided to sign up with twitter. Aside from Linked-In, I’ve avoided mostly all of the social networking sites (fads?) thus far. Who knows, maybe I’ll break down and get a Facebook page soon.
Living in North America, and (oh my, I”m actually going to say it..) especially people of my generation don’t tend to use text messages (SMS). There are a few friends at work and I who do text each other, but I generally use less than a handful a month. I’d like to change that, and I think twitter may be the catalyst.
There are lots of way to use twitter, but at the moment I see it as a way to get that hallway conversation feeling across the wire. I’ll likely use it to give mood updates, vent my frustrations and as a place to put my half baked thoughts that I don’t feel are worth a blog posting. You might laugh, but I tend to spend about an hour or more on each of these blog entries – I’ll probably spend about 30seconds thinking about a tweet.
While a large part of my waking day I’m in front of a computer, there are times when all I have with me is my phone – a Nokia 5310. Sure I have internet on my phone, but without a data plan it gets expensive fast ($13 for 460kb last month). SMS is a natural fit for twitter’s short updates, too bad the Canadian cell providers aren’t twitter friendly. [edit: see comment below, seems that Canadians can twitter vis SMS as of very recently. This makes my plan in the next paragraph basically just a neat idea, I’ll likely not do it.]
My plan is to build my own SMS gateway to twitter. I can use SMS to send an email and there is a way to send a text message via the web to my phone, so I’ve got a two way conduit. Now I just need a daemon to sit on my server and respond to events.. more on this once I figure out exactly what I’ll do.
Of course, twitter is a lonely place with no friends. It turns out many of my friends are already out there on twitter (ok, so I’m a late adopter). What did surprise me was that I started to follow some friends, and then suddenly I had followers!? Well it turns out [obvious] that by default you get email when someone friends you, so two way connections shouldn’t be a surprise. What was a little odd was that a few friends found me without me friending them, within hours. Neat, I feel popular.
Now in terms of a client – there is always the web, but I wanted to play around with some of the twitter specific apps. On Windows I installed Twitterlicious which has some quirks, but seems to do the job – I may later try twhirl. On Ubuntu I’ve tried and failed so far to use gTwitter but will persist. The neatest client I’ve tried so far is DSTwitter, turning my Nintendo DS into a twitter client.
So how do you use twitter?