Browsing the archives for the org tag

Twitter and I

Mistakes, Twitter

As a part of admitting my error in letting my blog become only an echo of my tweets from twitter these past months, I thought i would start in looking at Twitter itself.

A little over four months ago, in a small forum for local photographers, someone brought up Twitter, and how many of us were using it.  I know that previously phone numbers would be made available on links at twitter.com to reach people for gathering together – but that was almost all that I knew about twitter.  Well, ok, that’s not true.  I did also know that it was getting bigger – because more people i knew were using it, and i was seeing all sorts of integration tools for twitter as well.

So I decided to ask the group a question:

How do you use it, what do you get out of Twitter? What does a twittered life have that is so cool?

And I got all sorts of answers that mostly seemed to say, “try it and see”.  I researched it further and found the professionals equally perplexed at Twitter’s success.  In fact, Twitter seems to have been a spin off of a larger tech startup where this one small piece had greater value than the whole.

Even the reviewers did not seem to have good answers:

So why has Twitter been so misunderstood? Because it’s experiential. Scrolling through random Twitter messages can’t explain the appeal. You have to do it — and, more important, do it with friends. (Monitoring the lives of total strangers is fun but doesn’t have the same addictive effect.) Critics sneer at Twitter and Dodgeball as hipster narcissism, but the real appeal of Twitter is almost the inverse of narcissism. It’s practically collectivist — you’re creating a shared understanding larger than yourself.
Clive Thompson on How Twitter Creates a Social Sixth Sense

So I created an account and tried it out.  I soon was able to put together a model in my head for what it was – but it didn’t answer for me the question of what it did.  It reminded me of IRC – the old Internet Chat standard – except everyone was starting “muted” or silent and I had to find and turn on each one to hear them.  I also had to get my friends to join in, and there were concerns for what a time-sink this could be.

And so that is how i ended up letting merewisdom.org become a twitter echo only.  I found myself listening to my friends navigating their days.  Small details – never more than the 140-character limit of Twitter – of my friends’ lives surfaced.  Listening to a couple of friends planning dinner with one another, or someone else sharing a new web site, or being able to tweet a question to my group of friends and get many answers back.  That’s what Twitter did for me.

A sonar ping only carries so much information about where ships or obstacles are at that moment, but over time it can paint a detailed landscape of information about what each ship or obstacle is doing, and who is on or off course.

Of course, Twitter is still a part of my life and this blog.  i just won’t let it replace my own landscape imagery.  You deserve more than just a sonar map of my life and my errors and my occasional lessons i have learned.

You deserve a guided tour….

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Empty Blogging

Life as it is, Mistakes, Twitter

At a recent Twitter meetup, I was commenting on how my tweets were the primary source of content for merewisdom.org. That I had resorted to it so my blog would still let visitors have a rough idea of what i was up to lately, without blogging regularly. In fact, it had been so successful that I had not written an entry in some time.

“Isn’t that just “‘Empty Blogging’?” came the reply.

And the more i thought about it, the more the label seemed to fit. I mean, it’s not nearly as empty as months of no content, but on the other hand the idea behind this blog – that is a place to admit mistakes and learn from them – was also not being fulfilled at all. Having a daemon copy my tweets for me is not at all giving me a forum for learning from my mistakes, nor does it pass on anything i learn along the way.

So from the view of the reason for this site – filling it with only tweets is certainly empty – I agree.

There is a lot happening in my life and a lot of mistrakes I’ve been making, and even a desire to hide some of those mistakes – and that is an attitude that never works towards my growth.

So the tweet-only phase of merewisdom.org was a mistake.

What i learned from it is that if i am making the sharing of myself simple, brainless and mostly painless… then i will end up with a site that is simple, mindless and of little value.

What i do next will be interesting to watch – for me at least…. Will you join me on that journey?

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