Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Twitter FTW!

The number one question I get asked in person and online the most is “What happened?”. And I usually in a coy manner ask innocently “By what do you mean?” to those who ask it in the full knowledge that I know darn well what they mean. But I’d rather hear the question directly than jump to any conclusions of course. Well that and I’m avoiding the actual question that comes next naturally. “I mean, what happened to you blogging?”. and I swiftly respond, in the same coy tone mind you, “oh, that old thing.. yeah I really do need to get around to doing more of that at some point”. Which then has two effects. .

One, I usually don’t have to explain the crazed existence that is my offline life any further because I can easily point to a flotilla of posts where I’ve whined about that already.. a lot. And no this isn’t one of those kinds of posts. I’m actually in one of those rare good moods that finds me in the calm before the storm. The storm being Office 2010 that comes ashore on May 12th and hangs around for like 3 more years if we are lucky.


Two, it makes people more incensed to know why. Which is not what I’m shooting for at all.

There is another portion to option two however. And that leads me to ask another question of my own.. “have you read the Twitter feed?”. Which results in a reply 80% of the time in the answer found to be in the negative side of a response.

I then launch into a litany of terms, abbreviations and subjects that deal exclusively with my obsession to discuss all things in life in a space fewer than 160 typed characters. A sort of an “All things microblogging according to the mind of Ranger1138” if you will. And most, note that these are generally more of the sighted people I speak to.. again mostly, say “Oh.. you mean Facebook”. And I respond quickly with “um.. no.” and then I look for something heavy to hit them with or the quickest exit out of the conversation that holds the same appeal. For Twitter is not Facebook despite the number of web applets, add ons and odd third party applications that pontificate otherwise.

I have, quite simply, embraced Twitter with a zeal that I knew I would. I even predicted it to Mike Calvo and Jeff Bishop that I would do exactly this OCD thing I do so well if I was ever to open an account. And low and behold, I did just that. Over 6,600 tweets in a year. With most of them being some kind of relevant to the types of things I’ve blogged about in the last 5 years. Or at least to me they are at any rate.

I love the pureness of Twitter. The raw direct ability to converse, misunderstand and honk off someone through the imperfections of text speak only to smooth things over 10 minutes later all while in the presence of the world [or those following at least] of the whole thing intrigues me to no end. And I guess, being honest with myself, there is a bit of danger involved with this that is a driving force in my love of Twitter as well.

I’ve seen some amazing social disasters of epic scale made by people I know and respect, I’ve gotten up to the second news on matters in the Blindness community and the Assistive Technology Industry .. and I’ve been able to sift through the web faster than if I relied on RSS feeds alone. In short, I view Twitter now as a must have tool for both my working and social life.

That isn’t to say that I still don’t like to blog. I do like to write here. The problem is that setting aside the time to write something interesting, or at least entertaining, is a task I take very seriously. Just as I don’t like to talk about what I’ve eaten or what fricking thing some company is doing if you retweet them to win a prize that you have no idea that anyone you have ever known as won.. ever! To me, that so sullies the beauty that is Twitter. And I, by the same yard stick, don’t want to post something just to have posted something here to keep readership going for readership sake.

I don’t run analytics on this site. I don’t use Ad Sense, drop lines of java or do that wonderful blurb in the middle of the post. And I generally don’t stare at the number of friends or followers that read this blog, or the Twitter feed, in hopes that they skyrocket in some need to have numbers higher than Rick Harmon's. Which I do by the way Rick. Nudge nudge, wink wink!

I truly like to write about this stuff when I can and it can be a cathartic mental exercise for me. Plus, it gives me an option not to use mailing lists. Which I generally despise with a passion I usually only hold for remakes of classic Science Fiction films. I’m looking at you proposed new updated or remained version of “Robocop”.

So, the moral of the story today is that if you miss, or for some insane reason want, to read more of the stuff I would write about here.. follow me on Twitter. I actually do respond to people, write them back in emails and direct messages. Which is a far cry from the way I’ve dealt with that here on TRS in the past.

See you all in the timelines. .


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