What kind of trick does an old dog have to do to get a tweet around here?
Ha ha, Kathleen. Very funny. See, that could almost be a Tweet. It's short enough. It's rhetorical enough. It's plenty cliche. But it doesn't answer the big Twitter question. What's happening?
Image Credit Aaron Riddle AcRiddle.com
When the TopDownCrew decided to Twitter (or should that be tweet?) recently, I was eager to buy a ticket and hop aboard. I've been feeling without it (as opposed to with it) lately because everyone else seemed to be twittering, and I wasn't. I wasn't face-booking or my-spacing either. But I really enjoy this blog, and since most of my Rider sidekicks are way ahead of me in the social networking department, I said, "Goody, goody. How should I set myself up? Do I need an account? Do I get to have my own whachamacalit? Avatar thingie?" (My grandson informed me that an avatar is not a thingie. He's a very sophisticated 6-year-old.) I was told I could do as much or as little as I pleased. Cool!
So I found an eagle design, and I did the profile, and I opened my beak and made a couple of bird sounds. It took the better part of a day and some patient tutoring on the road to the realization that this would not really be a conversation. I clicked into some of the links on various tweets and retweets and discovered that a friend was going to the beach, another getting a pedicure, another starting a new chapter. Okay. Soooo what did you . . . oh, wait. Here's one I don't understand. Those aren't words. Hey, I've got some vowels I'll sell you. Cheap! (No, Kathleen, that's Tweet!)
Day 2 of my foray into Twitter: I close my separate account. I retire my cool avatar. With just a teensy bit of sadness I decide I'll do my bird calling on the TopDownCrew account for now. Twitterspeak ruffles the old English teacher's feathers a bit, but it strikes me that "tweets" are like headlines, and writing them is a wonderful exercise--the kind teachers use a lot. Focus. Make your point. Give me a precis, a log line. It's like the old telegram--a little before my time, mind you, but you sent a message and paid by the word. Great way to get announcements out. Or jokes. I followed a retweet to Stephen Colbert, and I was soon laughing my head off. Great online entertainment. (Aaagh! Where did the last 30 minutes go?)
I enjoy blogging because it's a two-way street. Unless I'm missing something, that isn't the purpose of Twitter. You follow people who do something that interests you. You find out what they're up to in 140 or fewer characters. I know a few people--mostly Eagles--who wish I would get my message across that succinctly, but it doesn't happen very often. So I'll contribute my bird calls to the TopDownCrew tweetings, and I hope lots of Twitterers will follow us.
I'd love to hear about other people's experiences with Twitter. What do you get out of it? What do you expect from a Twitterer? Do you follow personal friends? Celebrities? Politicians? Businesses? Do you respond to tweets? What's with the "retweeting"? What do you think of the 140 character format? Doesn't it lend itself to misinformation, misunderstanding, becoming the dreaded "Tweet of the Day"?