A few weeks ago I mentioned I had broken down and signed up for Twitter. Even though I have not yet fell for it yet, I do some of its value. It does have an obvious problem: if you’re not careful, you can quickly get carried away and become and totally unproductive person. What I’ve been doing is to have a Twitter client open in one of my computers, and every once in a while I check out what my peers are up to (usually on short breaks or when my computer is taking to long to process something).
Here are the things I’ve either experienced or seen that I kind of dig:
- This morning I had to go from the hotel to the campus where the Tulsa School of Dev was going to take place. I was supposed to start my keynote at 9am, so I came down to the hotel’s lobby at around 7:50am, thinking I’d get a shuttle and be at the campus at around 8:15am (I had no idea how far the place was). Somebody from the hotel tells me they wouldn’t drive to the place. Somebody else says they would. Twenty minutes later a "definitive" word comes that they really would not take me there. Ok, no problem, but they could have me told that before, right? Anyway, I asked whether they could just call for a cab, which they said they would. Another 40 minutes go by, and nothing. They called the cab company 4 or 5 times, and on the last time, the company says they don’t have a cab in the area (it’s not like I was in the middle of nowhere; I was in downtown…). Well, I start barking at people, and eventually one of the hotel’s drivers says he’s taking me to the place, and that it didn’t take 10 minutes for us to get there (while we’re on our way, the hotel calls the guy to say he’s in trouble because he wasn’t supposed to take me). What the hell? It’s 10 minutes away from the hotel!! What’s their problem? Anyway, around 8:30am, I had twittered expressing my frustrating with my wait for a cab. When I got to the auditorium, at 9:01am, Dave said he had seen my twitter, so he knew I should be getting there anytime soon. I didn’t have Dave’s cell phone number, so I was just hoping he’d be checking on Twitter. So I was actually glad I used Twitter for that (yes, I did give the hotel’s manager an earful when I got back there this evening).
- Every once in a while I see somebody twittering links to articles or blog post on things that I’m personally interested in.
- I end up connecting with people in ways I would not have even imagined before. For instance, in my list of friends and followers, I have a mix of people who are personal friends, and people who knows me from the software development community (people who follows this blog, sees me presenting, or reads my articles). The other day I twittered to say I had finished watching the first season of Heroes, and all of a sudden I start getting replies from people who also enjoyed the show, and I’ve ended up learning about some other things related to the series that I didn’t know about (such as the fact that there are short graphic novels on the series’ website that extend episodes and provide more details about characters and things like that). I really like this social aspect where a person ends up relating to another by means of other things they like but wouldn’t know they shared it because they usually meet in the realm of, say, software development.
- You learn some fun tidbits, like when Rick smashed his bass sometime in the 80’s and had to borrow one from Testament. 🙂
- Some people (like Kevin Miller) are already finding ways to use Twitter to produce some business value.
One other thing I’m not liking about it right now is the fact that I don’t own an *i*Phone, I just own *a* phone; a regular Sony phone that has a tiny little web browser, which makes it *really* hard to type anything on it and post to Twitter, or to follow posts. And an iPhone isn’t getting in my budget plans for the foreseen feature (there’s just too many other things taking higher priority).
Note: I was typing this post offline; when I got online, I saw a tweet from somebody pointing out to a post by Rick that’s very similar to this one of mine. 🙂