I'll admit that I harbored doubts about Twitter.
Google Reader connected me with personal and professional resources and allowed interactivity through the option of leaving comments on blog posts. Email was available for more extended or private conversations. I had no desire to be privy to the minutiae of people's daily lives.
Yet at the end of September, curiosity got the better of me, and I decided to give Twitter a try.
I began by "following" some bloggers with whom I was familiar. By reading their messages (Tweets) to others, I gradually built up a list of other Twitter users (Twits) who had interests similar to mine.
There were minor annoyances. Some Twits declined my invitation, which meant I could view their comments but not directly interact with them. Occasional technical problems resulted in the Twitterverse being offline or otherwise unusable.
Ah, but the positives far exceeded any negatives!
My Twitter community does much more than track the details of their day. They share websites, provide links to new blog postings, have stimulating conversations about everything from menus to professional conferences to child rearing to health issues.
Yesterday a mixed group of teachers, librarians, and information technologists discussed "authentic voice" in blogging, weighed the pros and cons of rating systems for edubloggers, then invited interested parties to leave Twitter and continue conversations in wikis, ichat or Skype.
Time magazine used the word "trivial" to describe the content of Twitter. I would suggest that Twitter is trivial in the sense of "relating to or being the mathematically simplest case." By restricting users to 140 characters per comment, Twitter distills conversation to essential concepts and facilitates the rapid exchange of thought. It helps to incubate ideas and encourage collaboration.
Used properly, Twitter can easily become the thinking person's texting tool of choice.
"How do we define this lively darting about with words, of hitting them back and forth, this sort of brief smile of ideas which should be conversation?" -Guy de Maupassant
"Atom paths" by lorda