July 10, 2015 by T. Gregory Argall
Twitter currently has 9,782,642,834 users.
That’s just an estimate, based on absolutely nothing. The point is a lot of people use Twitter, and they use it for a lot of different things.
In the slightly more than nine years since Twitter launched, it has evolved many times, although it still looks pretty much the way it did from the start.
It has been called Micro-Blogging.
It has been used to host public conversations.
Some people use Twitter in an attempt to change the world.
Some use it simply to pick a fight.
Television news networks use it as a “reliable source.”
More than a few public figures have used Twitter as a way to simultaneously show off their penis and end their career.
Currently, Twitter self-identifies as a social media network and proudly boasts being the birthplace of the hashtag. #poundsignrenamed
The problem is, because Twitter in all its simplicity can be used so many different ways, people don’t know how to use it. I have a Twitter account. I’ve had it for years. I still don’t know what exactly it’s for, in and of itself. Mainly, if I’ve done something I feel is interesting, somewhere else on the internet, I will send out a link through my Twitter. That’s basically what Twitter has become for me. It’s hey-look-what-I-did.com. (If you found this blog because I Tweeted about it, then you’ve just proved my point.) But really, in out day-to-day lives, sometimes people are just not that interesting. I don’t understand people who send out tweets like, “Just had a roast beef sandwich. It was alright. #lunch #food #2piecesofbreadwithbutter.”
But then there are the Twitter accounts with a purpose. When done right, these are the ones worth following. Accounts that were created to do one thing and one thing only. Whether it’s an endless stream of jokes about salads, or cool cars spotted in parking lots, if a Twitter account has a single through-line, there will be an audience just for that.
Remember @shitmydadsays? That snowballed quickly and briefly boosted that guy’s career. @ is still going strong after years of showcasing things that make you go, “Hmmmm.” Clients from Hell (@) presents a seemingly endless amount of stories about the challenges faced by designers when dealing with pretty much anyone. @ is a wonderful little Twitter gem that focuses on creativity, presenting satisfying works of fiction within the Twitter limits of 140 characters. @ was recently started by my very funny friend Gord. While actually truth and fact may not always play a part in some of the fun facts shown there, it will make you laugh.
These are the types of Twittering that I enjoy. This morning, I decided to try adding to that particular realm of Twittiness. I set up an account with a purpose. @ will attempt to breakdown works of classic literature, presenting the salient parts in Twitter-sized bites of 140 characters. Eventually, I may do the same for classic movies.
I may or may not be contributing to the betterment of mankind with this idea, but I’ll try to keep it going long enough to find out.
As always, try to be nice to each other.