Looking pretty good for a dead guy

Tag: microblog

So… Twitter

by on Apr.29, 2009, under Ramblings

When two of my good friends Evan and Olly both started using Twitter, I wasn’t too sure what to think. Sure, I’d been using social networking sites before but this seemed a bit niche, a little quirky. What was the point? Who would read it? Would anyone actually be interested to know what’s going on in my head? I clicked the link they’d sent me but as one who doesn’t readily sign up to new things immediately, I hesitated in registering and browsed away.

I’m not sure what changed, but a week or two later curiosity got the better of me and I headed back to the Twitter site. Signing up with my usual moniker I began experimenting with what I suppose has become my re-introduction to blogging, albeit in a micro manner. Strangely, blogging had always filled me with a sense of forboding – always thinking that I had to have something ‘big’ to say or pour out paragraph after paragraph of highly enlightening stuff. But this, this was different. This was almost random. In a way I found the 140 character limit strangely liberating. 

In those early days I probably Twittered everything and anything, not really knowing what was expected, but at the same time not caring either. If I was thinking something I just tweeted it. It didn’t matter. There’s also an overwhelming desire to have followers. When you first sign up to Twitter you’re encouraged to follow Twitter’s own elite ‘tweeters’. Some of these are famous in their own right – TV and film stars – others appear to be journalists or people that you would just know. They have huge followings. Some have 100’s of thousands following them. I guess it’s human nature to want to be liked and some go on quests to gain the  most followers possible. You can usually spot these people a mile. Since they’re preferred method of gaining followers is to mass-follow others they tend to be following as many people as they’re followed by.

I’ve chosen not to go down that route. I’m happy to just let my own following (which sounds odd when I write it) grow organically. If people find what I say interesting, that’s great, I’m happy for them and I’m happy they follow. But I’m just an ordinary guy (as my Twanalyst reminded me) and ordinary guys don’t get – or need – massive followings. As my profile says, I’m just another Dean.

I’ve now passed my 500th tweet and am still  using Twitter a lot. In the online world fads come and go, and Twitter has already become too mainstream now for some bleeding-edge fans, but it’s become part of my life, albeit just a single strand of my life. I like sharing my thoughts and I hope you do too.

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