Elliot Jay Stocks is a designer, speaker, and author. He is the Creative Director of Adobe Typekit, the founder of typography magazine 8 Faces, one half of Viewport Industries, and an electronic musician.

A blessay about Twitter

Posted on 23 May 2008 48 comments

Article illustration for A blessay about Twitter

I’m not the first person to write a relatively long and thoughtful article about Twitter; nor shall I be the last. But this has been brewing for quite some time, so here you go. Twitter fans, you’ll no doubt feel affinity with what you’re about to read, but newcomers and naysayers, this is for you too: five reasons why Twitter is important.

Oh, and due to the following collection of words sitting somewhere between a longer-than-usual blog entry and a mini essay, I’m using the tongue-in-cheek term ‘blessay’, coined by the rather fantastic Stephen Fry.

Twitter is 5 things

Well, it is to me. And I dare say it may well be to you, too. Those things are (or may well be) as follows:

1. An ice-breaker
2. A purveyor of ‘ambient intimacy’
3. A broadcasting / marketing tool
4. A fount of knowledge
5. A social network

All of these things are intrinsically linked, but each remains extremely different, so I’ll discuss one at a time.

1. An ice-breaker

We live in a digital world full of ice-breakers. Leaving a comment on somebody’s website; adding them as a contact on Flickr; emailing them, even – all very simple ways of making a subtle (but substantial) form of contact. Imagine how hard it would’ve been to get in touch with your favourite designer 20 years ago. They certainly wouldn’t publish their personal postal address or phone number, so you’d probably have to go through their agent or their company. And even if they could publish their details, where would they do it? With no websites to speak of, it’d be hard for the average fan to find any way of getting in contact.

But now, well, it’s so easy, isn’t it? Especially with Twitter! Over the years, I emailed some of my favourite designers, I left comments, I added them as contacts; and I often got replies, to such an extent that many of these people are now good friends. When you finally meet them in ‘real life’ (usually at conferences or events), the ice-breaker is at worst, “I follow you on Twitter,” and at best, “it was great having that conversation with you via Twitter – nice to finally meet you!”

But I don’t need to harp on about this, do I? You know this is what happens. You know that if you email me, I’ll probably email you back (at least eventually). So why is Twitter different? Isn’t it just the same kind thing?

No. Because Twitter is a) more personal than replying to a comment, and b) more in the ‘public space’ than en email. Yes, here I’m specifically talking about ‘@’ replies between users, but I also think the simple act of following someone is infinitely more personal than adding them as a contact on, say, Flickr. This is because Twitter is about broadcasting the small, subtle, mundane details of your everyday life. The fact that people want to know about that stuff is, well, rather odd. But it leads me very nicely on to point number two…

2. A purveyor of ‘ambient intimacy’

Leisa Reichelt came up with the phrase ‘ambient intimacy’ to describe this kind of relationship between the follower and the followee, and I think it’s perfect. In Leisa’s words, “ambient intimacy is about being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible.” She’s talking about it mainly from a social, friend-to-friend point of view (more on that later), but I think the real draw is on the fan-to-celebrity view (for want of better terms). If a fan responds to a big-name designer / developer using the ‘@’ reply system, they suddenly become involved in their lives. And I use the big-name example because I think it’s extremely relevant to our industry. As far as I can tell, the web community is by far the biggest part of Twitter’s userbase. This is a shame, as I think it’s a stigma that preventing other people from joining in.

But anyway, it’s about getting to know people (whether they’re actual friends or simply people you admire) in a way that would have otherwise been impossible, and I think the 140 character limit plays a big part in keeping things ‘real’. You’d never blog about what you dreamed last night, but you might tweet about it, so your followers get a slight – or ‘ambient’ – glimpse into your everyday life.

You might also refer to this as ‘a condoned method of stalking’.

3. A broadcasting / marketing tool

They say that word-of-mouth is the best form of advertising, and Twitter is word-of-mouth incarnate. To the followee who has, say, 865 followers, there are 865 reasons to use Twitter as a marketing tool. I don’t mean in a cunning, underhand sort of way; not in a kind of “hey, wanna buy some crap?” sort of way. I’m talking about honest, genuine self-promotion to 865 people who honestly, genuinely care. 865 people who, for one reason or another, find you interesting enough to want to hear about what you had for lunch today. Ok, maybe not everyone wants to know that. Some people will be there because they genuinely respect your opinions / work / interests; others will want to know every detail because they’re stalking you (see point #2); others only follow you because apparently you’re on a list like 50 designers to follow on Twitter. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter. They’re there for you. If the internet is like an auditorium where most of the attendees have gone out to get the free lunch, Twitter is like the people who stayed behind to listen to you talk; you have their undivided attention.

Say I’m following a web designer because I love their work. When they tweet, saying they’ve just launched a new site, not only will I not mind that they’re advertising that to me; I’ll be genuinely glad to hear it! It’s occasions like that which remind me exactly why I follow certain people on Twitter: I get immediate, first-hand access to that information, probably even before RSS. And that brings me nicely to my penultimate point…

4. A fount of knowledge

During a conversation I had with a bunch of web types in Brighton a few weeks ago, many of them claimed that they rarely use RSS feed readers for their main source of web-related news / gossip. Instead, Twitter has become their main source of information. But receiving information in a passive sense is only a small part of this point; it’s the ability to ask the Twitterverse a question and receive replies in a matter of seconds that does it for me. Rands wrote a fascinating post about this the other day, so I won’t bother covering the same ground, but if you’re after a takeaway quote, I’d suggest this: “sometimes I get my world rocked with random, psychic, off-the-cuff, tangential information that Google will never give me because Google doesn’t know who I am.”

When I was enquiring about a printer for business cards, I tweeted, and had about 10 replies back within a couple of minutes. That kind of response is incredible! Another one that sticks out in my memory is something not related to the web or design in any way: I wanted to get a new credit card. Again, I asked the (UK) Twitterverse who they’d recommend and the response was astounding… and completely free of advertising clutter. Sarah Parmenter recommended a Barclaycard Premium to me, so it ended up with me getting a great card credit based on personal recommendation, and meeting a new person in the process. Sarah, like many people I’ve ‘met’ through Twitter, is now a friend in the ‘real world’ sense. Speaking of which…

5. A social network

Why is this the last one on the list? Well, it’s not that I’ve saved the best until last, but rather that the four points above all feed into this one notion of ‘a social network’. But this is not like Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, LinkedIn, or several thousand others out there, and this is also why I’ve left it until last. To tell someone that Twitter is another social network is to belie its real appeal. Snook wrote a post earlier this week about how he uses Twitter as one of his main communication methods with the outside world in what is often the solitary life of a freelancer, and I think it’s something many of us do.

But for me it’s not just the contact I get to have with my friends over Twitter; it’s the outreach I get to the people I don’t know, whether that’s to break the ice and start a dialogue with them online before I actually meet them (point one), to get to know them because I’m a fan-boy (point two), to market myself to the people following me (point three), to find out knowledge on a human level from a group far larger than my regular friends (point four), or to meet some new friends who I would never have met in the real world (point five).

Parting thoughts

Twitter is, however, a different thing to different people, and a lot of that comes down to the amount of people who follow you. Yes, there are other factors, but I seriously believe that this is the biggest one.

Consider this: to someone with only a few followers (say 20 people), their tweets won’t reach a huge audience, and thus the ‘fount of knowledge’ is decidedly smaller; so too is the audience to whom they can market themselves. At this level, Twitter is closer to the typical social network, as – I think it’s fairly safe to assume – the followers are most likely people that the followee actually knows.

Contrast this to the other end of the spectrum. Kevin Rose, for instance, has 35,000+ people following him, at which point I think it’s fairly safe to assume that the highest percentage by far are fans. Thus Twitter is very far removed from a social network and instead becomes almost entirely a broadcasting medium. I doubt Kevin has much time to answer the many hundreds of ‘@’ replies that hurtle his way every day.

So there you have it. I hope that my ‘five things’ ring true with the vast majority of you Twitter users out there, even though the ratio to each thing will vary massively. Although I do admittedly wonder if there’s any real point to me laying out the obvious like this, it does at least feel good to get some thoughts down in writing. It makes more room for other stuff in my head!

What are your own experiences of Twitter like? Have I missed anything? Have I got it completely and utterly wrong? Throw your proverbial rotten fruit at me in the comments, if you will.

48 comments

  1. Sazzy P

    Sazzy P

    23 May 2008 @ 08:03PM #

    You’ve hit the nail on the head with this post E, a brilliant run down of exactly what makes Twitter great. You’ve missed off one thing though, just what is the right answer when your Mum or Dad ask you “So, what is Twitter?”…. :-)

  2. Kai Chan Vong

    Kai Chan Vong

    23 May 2008 @ 08:03PM #

    Dude. Thanks, so many people have been asking me to explain it and I haven’t done it justice like your blog post.

    Saved me one huge email post having to explain it all. Gj.

  3. Dan Oliver

    Dan Oliver

    23 May 2008 @ 08:03PM #

    Nice post. Very positive. I think it’s crying out for a contrasting counter-post, though. Maybe one of your more sardonic visitors might give it a go ;)

  4. elyse holladay

    elyse holladay

    23 May 2008 @ 08:05PM #

    Great post! Twitter is definitely all of these things for me. I post when something (minutely) interesting happened that I wouldn’t necessarily blog or LiveJournal about; my coworkers and I keep tabs on each other via Twitter; I follow my favorite designers for inspiration. I am a terrible blogger, because I’m either too distracted or busy to write “real” posts – and most of the time my life is filled with the semi-mundane, so Twitter is great for me. And it allows me to make “friends” with designers I appreciate! So, Hi! :)

  5. gugote

    gugote

    23 May 2008 @ 08:05PM #

    Great article, i couldnt agree more with you, on points 1 and 4 specially for people who lives outside us/europe like me and dont have an easy access to all the conferences/events that are going in :)

  6. Jacklyn

    Jacklyn

    23 May 2008 @ 08:07PM #

    This is the best Twitter post I’ve read so far. Nice job!

  7. Dave McNally

    Dave McNally

    23 May 2008 @ 08:09PM #

    I think you hit the nail on the head with this one. Maybe I see things from a slightly different perspective as I am generally one of the above mentioned ‘fans’, following the professionals and do so for the constant news updates that won’t be published on blogs etc.

    Perhaps the marketing side of things only comes into play once you are established within the industry, having many fans reading what you put out there.

    One thing that has surprised me about Twitter is the ability to get in touch with people who you never thought would reply. For example, a couple of the ‘big names’ I started following have also started following me and I’ve had discussions with these people over Twitter that wouldn’t happen anywhere else.

  8. liam

    liam

    23 May 2008 @ 08:10PM #

    Interesting points, and so very very true. As was your point that " As it’s Friday you’re all only pretending to work"

    Usually I wouldn’t read something as long as this. I love reading people’s blogs, but usually with a post like this I scan read. But you caught my attention so I had to read it all.

    I’m quite new to twitter, and never really saw the appeal of it, until I tried it. Now i’m hooked. And I think the main thing is, it’s starting to replace my RSS feeds. I look to twitter for info about new posts of people I’m following (thats how I came to this post) I just think it’s a more direct, personal way of browsing the web.

    I love discovering new websites, and I’m finding twitter is a great platform for this, it certainly gives me more interesting links than StumbleUpon. Because although SU allows you to choose your subjects / catagories you can’t choose the quality. But with twitter you follow someone who write good quality stuff the chances are they’ll share links to places of similar quality.

    Wow, never knew I had an opinion on this, but it seems I do… Great post.

  9. Sam Hardacre

    Sam Hardacre

    23 May 2008 @ 08:14PM #

    I certainly agree with the icebreaker idea. I’ve met many people this year, after chatting with the on Twitter a couple of months before hand. It definitely helps remove the awkwardness that I often encounter when I meet new people.

    Having read small posts about people’s troubles, projects and thoughts beforehand allows me to immediately connect with people and enter into full blown conversation when I meet them in person.

    Unfortunately I wasn’t able to put this into practice too well at FOWD but there’s always next year ; )

  10. Kyle Meyer

    Kyle Meyer

    23 May 2008 @ 08:17PM #

    A blessay indeed, but a good read as well.

    Although others have written about it, I don’t think it’s been explained this well, I finally have something to point people to when they ask me to explain what the hell a ‘tweet’ is and why there’s a point to it besides telling people when I need to use the restroom. :D

  11. Andrew Yates

    Andrew Yates

    23 May 2008 @ 08:21PM #

    I use Twitter in several different ways. The first been a way of keeping up to date with designers like yourself and developers for that matter. As well as keeping up to date with what friends, some of which became friends through Twitter.

    Following designers and developers is a great way to see what the web community are up too, and what (forgive me for saying this) trends are coming in.

    I’m out of the office right now, and have been using Twitter to also keep up to date with whats happening in the office. Connecting with people you would otherwise never talk too is another thing Twitter does so well too.

    On the other hand, I use it as a marketing tool for a website I run. The site has its own Twitter account, then the site posts the latest aggregated posts from web related blogs, such as yours. So its a good way for Twitter users to keep up to date with web design/developer news. Right now 72 people are using it, most of which I hope are genuine followers.

    I think your spot on with everything you said in your ‘Blessay’.

  12. Tilman

    Tilman

    23 May 2008 @ 08:25PM #

    Sorry, off-topic: Did you do that bird-illustration on top? It’s great!

  13. Ryan Rumsey

    Ryan Rumsey

    23 May 2008 @ 08:29PM #

    Now if only the Twitter folk could figure out those server issues. Otherwise, they’ll turn into the next Friendster. :)

  14. liam

    liam

    23 May 2008 @ 08:34PM #

    @tilman The bird was made for twitterrific, but it is available for free personal use: http://www.macuser.com/images/2007/01/twitterrific_icon.png Or Google it for more images.

  15. Jon Tan

    Jon Tan

    23 May 2008 @ 08:42PM #

    You covered the ground well, Elliot. :) Might also be interesting to read Dave Winer’s thoughts on Twitter, and this paper on the “topological and geographical properties” of Twitter (PDF) (Via Matthew Hurst)

    I’m pretty sure I haven’t worked out exactly how I use it yet, but I know for a fact the ambient intimacy is one of the reasons. Leisa’s phrase reminds me of “”http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/ambient_signifi" rel="nofollow">ambient signifiers" — used to describe notifications on the Japanese subway by Ross Howard.

  16. Jay Greasley

    Jay Greasley

    23 May 2008 @ 08:44PM #

    Excellent post (do I sound like another fan-boy?).
    One thing I would add is the way that your Twitter use changes over time. I see it as a network that expands over time and with that change it moves from being just your mates to people with the same interests/hobbies/technical interests etc. The same as a conventional social network. So when a friend of a friend wants advice on web hosting, you’re the expert in the group. And so the network expands.
    Not as coherent as Elliot’s blessay but just my 2 penneth…

  17. Elliot Jay Stocks

    Elliot Jay Stocks

    23 May 2008 @ 08:50PM #

    Wow, lots of responses already! Thanks for taking the time to wade through the post, guys. I’m glad you enjoyed it and thought that it summed stuff up for you. Lots of nail / head combos going on, which is nice to hear. And yes, please feel free to send people this way if they need the Twitter phenomenon explaining!

    @ Sarah (I mean ‘Sazzy P’): That’s a good question. Even though it wasn’t my number one point in the article, I always tell parents / family that Twitter is “acceptable stalking via the internet.” It’s the easiest answer and gets their attention at least!

    @ Dan Oliver: Go on, I dare ya!

    @ Tilman: If you mean the icon, then yeah, see Liam’s comment (thanks Liam!). But if you’re referring to the article illustration, it’s just from the Twitter site.

    @ Jon Tan: Thanks for the fantastic links! I’m toddling off to read them now…

  18. Debsterbug

    Debsterbug

    23 May 2008 @ 09:58PM #

    All I have to say is after following you on Twitter and experiencing the feeling of “ambient intimacy” with you, I got the feeling that I knew you well enough that I could reply to you here or even on Twitter and you might not think me as much of an unknown. Don’t know if that makes sense or not. It does in my world. LOL

    But I agree with all your points on Twitter. It’s been great and I too have almost forgotten my RSS feeds.

  19. Tom

    Tom

    23 May 2008 @ 10:12PM #

    I’ve only been twittering for 6 months or so and I don’t have many followers but I use it mostly to keep uptodate with what is going on in webworld. I follow/stalk yourself and many other designers and developers and get the latest ‘happenings’ that way.

    Plus, even though I’m not getting my ‘message’ across to many, it’s nice to get stuff off your chest.

  20. Jeff Namnum

    Jeff Namnum

    23 May 2008 @ 11:03PM #

    uh, wow. This was dynamite Elliot. Blessay yes, but well worth the time I invested away from working (ahem…procrastinating) to read this and all the comments.

    What I appreciate most is that you were able to to articulate so much of what twitter is, and that’s been an argument I’ve had with myself over the last few weeks. Being in a rebuilding phase of our various biz interests, I’ve been trying to justify whether twitter was neccessary or just fun, but you’ve helped me convince myself that it’s both. Thanks!

    btw curse you @Jon Tan, the last thing I needed was to find fascinating links to further educate me ;). Thanks man.

  21. dave

    dave

    24 May 2008 @ 05:06AM #

    but it doesn’t interest any of my ‘real’ friends and the people I’m actually interested in, thats why i’ll never use twitter. Thats what twitter has to change in order for it to grow.

  22. Min Tran

    Min Tran

    24 May 2008 @ 09:35AM #

    I signed up a Twitter account after reading your post. Thank you, Elliot!

  23. Simon Clayson

    Simon Clayson

    24 May 2008 @ 11:37AM #

    Nicely put. It’s a challenge to describe twitter and “justify” it to lots of people. And I ignored it, like so many for so long, but I must say it was Twitterific that tipped me over the edge into a full time user.

  24. Paul Hopkins

    Paul Hopkins

    24 May 2008 @ 12:00PM #

    great article! i have been wondering whether to start using twitter or not and now i have some decent reasons why (or even why not!) to. thanks!

  25. rama

    rama

    24 May 2008 @ 01:41PM #

    if facebook is soo… 2007
    then twitter is sooo… 2008!!
    :-)

  26. Andy

    Andy

    24 May 2008 @ 03:41PM #

    It seems like the people who use Twitter really love it and get a lot from it.
    But it also seems to me like most of the people using it are webby people, i mean people in the web/tech industries.

    Of course this is no surprise as these are the people most likely to early adopt new technologies like this, but i have to ask myself as someone not involved in the web/tech area, but someone very willing to give the latest thing a try, why does it not appeal to me?

    Your post very concisely outlined the pro’s of Twitter, but I’m still not sure it offers me anything facebook doesn’t. I am 100 times more likely to meet an old school friend on facebook than i am on twitter.

  27. Matt Machell

    Matt Machell

    24 May 2008 @ 04:01PM #

    Great post!

    I tend to think of twitter as being almost the command line for the social web. It hooks you into a whole load of useful tools, some automated, some socially constructed, but which ones you use is up to you.

  28. Davin

    Davin

    25 May 2008 @ 05:11AM #

    Still not drinking the kool aid. It’s glorified emoting.

  29. adelle

    adelle

    25 May 2008 @ 06:56AM #

    great read, i agree with all 5 points and very well written. I’m on twitter and it took a good couple months to get used to it-but now I see all the positive things and wealth of information you can find.

  30. Darren Hoyt

    Darren Hoyt

    25 May 2008 @ 08:19AM #

    @Elliot: all your thoughts on marketing and sharing useful knowledge via Twitter are totally valid and well-reasoned. Those same arguments were made to defend blogging, back in the days when people refused to take it seriously as a publishing platform.

    But the problem for me is that it also smacks of idealism and wishful thinking.

    Certainly Twitter can be used for all those things and if everyone set the bar high, the results would be fantastic. But humans being humans in the internet age (attention-seeking, chatty, a tendency to overshare), it’s a guarantee that 75% of what you consume will be pure noise. Which means, once again, valuable time must be spent combing for information that is actually useful or interesting.

    Just this week I followed, then unfollowed, three of the most influential designers in the world because I didn’t care what sandwich they just ate or cigarette they just smoked. I can consult my RSS reader to pick and choose which topics to explore later without trying to follow bite-sized commentary which doesn’t lead anywhere.

    I think if we stepped back and simply acknowledged this new shiny thing as a source of plain old Fun, we’d need to spend less time explaining or defending it. Twitter’s an extension of our personalities, just like blogging. Some use it innovatively, most do not, just like with everything else.

    I hope none of this sounds dismissive of the things you wrote because I think you did a fine job touching on Twitter’s vast potential. I just wanted to suggest that its potential is not the same as its reality for most people, at least not yet.

  31. Aaron Russell

    Aaron Russell

    25 May 2008 @ 01:43PM #

    @Elliot Thanks for the great read that was brought to my attention via a Tweet. For a good year I quite vocally resisted Twitter because I’m not sure I ‘got it’. Now I’ve had to eat my words because I’ve slowly become hooked, and I agree with all five of your very well written points. Consider me a new RSS reader and Twitter follower :)

  32. Armando Alves

    Armando Alves

    25 May 2008 @ 06:04PM #

    As i replied you on twitter, it’s a great blessay, but we should take points 2. and 3. with a grain of salt.
    Ambient intimacy could easily slip into harassment or annoyance. Personal marketing is great, but wait until spammers start to get their way around Twitter.

    It all boils down to the quality of conversation. As long as Twitter manages to keep it high, it will be an incredible service. As more people get to know it, and we start to qualify our circles (groups please), it surely will replace the low quality alteranives (read MySpace, FB, etc).

  33. prisca

    prisca

    25 May 2008 @ 07:01PM #

    Thanks, Elliot, great post :)

    as many others, I was sceptical about Twitter initially as no one seemed to be able to explain why it’s so good – only that it just is ;-)

    Once I tried it however – I was hooked and now I just hope they can sort out all their server issues as I’ve come to really love it for updates on web ongoings… and just really enjoy reading people’s tweets, cheers me up in the middle of coding headaches….

    You’ve summed it up well and I will be sending people to your post if they want to find out more… thanks :)

  34. Brendan Falkowski

    Brendan Falkowski

    26 May 2008 @ 04:00PM #

    Spot on – I was even linked here via Twitter! This post had quite a few mental connections and ah-ha moments for me. Everyone has favorite person lists – I call them “Web God-Kings.”

    “Ice breakers” are something I consciously work on. We follow your work, comment on your blogs (ahem), reads your tweets, and buy your t-shirts to get noticed. It’s unbelievably satisfying to get a response from a web celebrity, even a short one.

    Twitter/Flickr/etc make this possible by humanizing the God-King persona that fans attach to web personalities. It does sound stalkerish, but it’s admiration and respect mostly.

  35. Ricardo

    Ricardo

    27 May 2008 @ 11:57AM #

    I started to use twitter when I read last Snook post last week.
    I have already just 2 followers, but I hope to have some new by using it more.

    Great post :)

  36. K

    K

    27 May 2008 @ 04:09PM #

  37. Steve Killen

    Steve Killen

    29 May 2008 @ 04:37PM #

    Thanks for the indepth info on Twitter, Elliot, I keep attempting to update more often, perhaps when I have the updates on my website I will do it.

    I believe that Twitter is the closest thing on the web, so far, that most closely resembles actual communication in the real world. Especially with the relatively new additions to it. I think it will go mainstream eventually (as long as it fixes its downtime), it will just take time. Its simplicity will win out in the end.

    Incidentally, I’m still waiting for someone to write the first blovel and be brave enough to call it that.

  38. Nathan

    Nathan

    01 June 2008 @ 01:48AM #

    I think that Twitter is a great tool for the following reasons (they might well have been considered above, I confess that I did not read to many of the comments):
    - it is so simple to get started. With most other ‘social’ apps you need to put in some time before you feel like you have a grasp of what you can expect from using it. With Twitter, you are up and running in, literally, 3 minutes. You need to know nothing to make it all happen. My mother can use it and she is unable to determine if the computer is on!
    - such great, simple, go everywhere mobile support. NOTHING is like this. My friend twittered me from the bath the other day! No way he’s going to take hte PC in there. But, be honest, we’ve all used the mobile in the ‘little room’ and sometimes important things just need to be let out (in the greater sense of the word)!

    That is my 50 cents for what it is worth.

    twitter/njwrigley

  39. Rajveer

    Rajveer

    02 June 2008 @ 03:50PM #

    Very well described indeed. I can realize that Twitter has become a great junction for people like us, too.

  40. Justo

    Justo

    03 June 2008 @ 07:53AM #

    Great summary! I just started using twitter, and I was a bit disappointed than none of my close friends use (or had even heard) of it. But then you bring up the great point that it is a way to interact with people you would probably never meet or talk to otherwise!

    Thanks for the 50 designers to follow link as well, I’ve got some people to check up on now, including you (honestly, that’s not nearly as creepy as it sounds.)

  41. Grant

    Grant

    04 June 2008 @ 03:26AM #

    I was out of town and finally got the chance to sit down and read this post. Great overview and thoughts on the importance of twitter. I think #1 is especially unique to twitter at the moment. I’ve made more inroads on some professional relationships via twitter than comments on blog posts. It gets people’s attention.

    Another neat advantage to twitter is how it’s a cross between IM and e-mail. It’s like IM in the sense that it’s very conversational – but like e-mail because it’s not invasive. I get to choose when I want to read comments/responses from people I follow on twitter. It’s a great blend.

  42. Marta L.

    Marta L.

    05 June 2008 @ 03:02AM #

    Great post!! I’d say one good reason is as also “you can see what your boyfriend is on to – so he don’t need to explain things” :))

  43. Kay Holdsworth

    Kay Holdsworth

    06 June 2008 @ 02:38PM #

    The first I heard of Twitter was on the blogging course run by Reach Further. I decided to sign up for it but that was as far as I got! I am still very new to all the internet networking sights and what they can offer, I haven’t even got an account with Face Book. I am just starting to get my head around blogging and can see that the possibilities and opportunites are endless. Keep up the good blogging! Kay

  44. Dan

    Dan

    15 June 2008 @ 12:26AM #

    Well, I gotta say it, from now on anyone who comes at me, all guns blazing shouting “What’s the point of twitter!? It’s stupid!” I won’t explain, I’ll just send them the link to this post.

  45. Tyler Hayes

    Tyler Hayes

    15 June 2008 @ 10:20PM #

    Just checked out your site linked from Jacob Gube’s “Where to Go to Find Design Inspiration” (http://sixrevisions.com/web_design/find_design_inspiration/) which linked to Twiistup and saw your credits. Pretty impressive stuff! I’m new to Twitter just a couple days ago and definitely agree with everything in your article here… keep up the good work!

  46. David Rapson

    David Rapson

    04 July 2008 @ 01:49AM #

    Not a twitter user my self, but I enjoyed the article. Such a structured blessay on an unstructured medium like twitter is a nice approach.

    I am in the process of writing a “blessay on blessays” if you will – on the pottential of blessays as a meme – I may use this as a reference if you don’t mind. My “blogfolio” is still a little WIP .. but soon.

    On another note; I’ve just be directed to your wordpress theme via one of Chris Coiyers podcasts.
    From a fellow web designer’s – albeit, not as accomplished – point of view, it is great to see such a slimmed down theme. Even better than the sandbox theme I had been playing with previously. I’m sure it will save a lot of people a lot of time.

    Also like the use of the live preview wp-plugin for the comments, it might be fun to try and make one from scratch some time, not sure how id go about that just yet though.

    /waffle.

  47. Tweets to Remember | Darren Hoyt Dot Com

    Tweets to Remember | Darren Hoyt Dot Com

    16 March 2010 @ 06:29PM #

    […] the lead microblogging tool, Twitter is now past the early stages of being dismissed (ahem). Journalists write about it breathlessly in situations like the American student’s arrest in […]

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