Having fun with Twitter

TwitterI first read about Twitter a few month ago but didn’t really see the point and I didn’t know anyone else who used it. Then gradually I noticed more and more of the blogs I regularly read had Twitter links. And it’s mentioned almost every week on MacBreak Weekly. The Cranking Widgets Blog had a link last month to a fantastic Paperworks video, Twitter in Plain English. It looked fun so I thought I’d give it a shot.

I tried to get friends and family to sign up too. I liked the idea of just knowing what everyone is up to, even if wasn’t exciting stuff. But no one went for it. They’re more into Facebook which I just can’t get on with. At 34 I think I’m too old for it. So nothing much happened with me and Twitter for a while as I had no one to play with.

I have come to realise though that Twitter isn’t just for following friends and family – people that you know. It’s great for looking into the lives of people you don’t actually know but feel you have something in common with. I’m now following some people from blogs I read and podcasts I listen to – Mac and productivity folk. It’s a lot of fun seeing what people are doing or reading their general comments. I suppose Twitter is really mini-blogging rather than social networking.

I quickly discovered Twitter can be quite a distraction – frequently clicking refresh to see if anyone has anything new to say. However I’m now using Twitterific which pops up new tweets as they happen which is great as I no longer need to manually check.

I thought it would be fun to add my tweets to the blog – but it turns out Twitter doesn’t work too well with WordPress. It can’t be added as an HTML widget, only via RSS. I did finally get it to work (although it doesn’t look as nice as I’d like) but I just about killed the blog in the process. Hopefully WordPress will sort this out – after all, it’s easy to add del.icio.us or Flickr widgets. It would also be good to see a decent Twitter app for the iPhone. (There was a detailed look at iPhone Twitter apps earlier this week on Daring Fireball. Conclusion – they’re either good for reading or good for posting but not both.)

Feel free to follow me on Twitter. I’m on the look out for some more people to follow too.

UPDATE: Just found this interesting blog post on Twitter by Rory Cellan-Jones