Sunday, July 05, 2009

The Twitter Experiment

I first heard about Twitter at MinistryCOM 2007, and like everyone else in America, have heard a lot about it since then. I've never really considered joining, though, until recently, mainly because:

a) doesn't a Facebook status update accomplish the same purpose?

b) it's just another thing to update and check

c) does anyone really care what I have to say in 140 characters or less?


In reverse order, let me explain how my thoughts have changed on the subject:

c) This question applies to Facebook and blogging as well. Is Web 2.0 just a venture in narcissism? I think it's actually more about the value of self-expression to the writer than about the reader's need or desire for information or entertainment. As opposed to the "Christmas letter" we all love to hate, blogs and tweets are sent out into cyberspace for people to access only if they wish. So, in short, only those who care will read, and if no one does, that's fine.

b) being able to integrate Twitter with Facebook and my iGoogle page makes all the difference. If I had to add twitter.com to my list of sites to check on everyday, I'd be less likely to consider it.

a) Twitter is more than a status update. It is a way to network professionally, connect with people, and learn about new books, movies, etc. from firsthand sources. Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson, blogged about the benefits of Twitter here.

For all these reasons, I was thisclose the other day to joining. Then, I started to get cold feet. Is it really worth the effort? Will I stick with it? I don't consider myself all that tech-savvy, and I have no aspirations of being an "early adopter" of any new media. I'm not itching for an iPhone or a Kindle. I remember it took Matt a few months to convince me to join Facebook, which I did sometime in late 2005, early 2006 (fairly early on, in the great scheme of Facebook) and I'm glad I did. Matt signed me up for MySpace around that same time, but I never liked it and haven't logged on in a couple years. I started blogging in 2006, but have written almost five times more posts since getting pregnant and having Kate than I did before that.

In any case, I decided it is time to give Twitter a try; but if I'm going to do it, I am going to blog the experience for a week so that I can hold myself accountable to actually learning how it works and engaging in the network, and to document my thoughts on this whole thing.

So, here goes. My username is JMillerKelley. See you on Twitter!
(or not... you know...whatever...)

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