Saturday, February 07, 2009

A week on Twitter

So I've been on for just about a week are some random thoughts...

1. I am enjoying following politicians who use it in a way that informs people following what they're up to substantively. Two good examples are Mayor David Miller in Toronto and U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill. It's fun to read where they are, the adjectives used to describe the meetings or activities, the mood conveyed, etc. It is possible to convey something informative in the brief Twitter message. Here's an example from McCaskill earlier today:
Proud we cut over 100 billion out of recov bill.Many Ds don't like it, but needed to be done.The silly stuff Rs keep talking about is OUT.
From the Senate floor the other night:
Kinda fun to be here late.Everyone on the floor. A constant low murmer. Dozens of simultaneous conversations. How friends are made.
The former gives you a sense of her place in the Democratic spectrum and both, her personality. When you read it along side many other updates, it's the totality that conveys something interesting. She's using it exactly as I hoped to see from a politician. Miller too. I wish more Canadian politicians would use it in this manner.

Martha Hall Findlay is trying to engage the online community. Still have to do that Liberal in six word thing ("the green shift; bring it back"...? just kidding).

But here's an example of a twittering politician who could add much more, Harper yesterday: "Heading to Miramichi, New Brunswick." Add something insightful. What for? What happened? Not just picking on him - my usual, I know - there are some others in that vein too.

2. Are the personal details interesting? Not always but again, they do paint a picture about the people you're following. I'm fine with it all. I'm trying to find a balance with that and we'll see how it goes. My last update was a real barn burner...heh. Oh well. I've kept mostly to using it for mini-blog links, either to mine, someone else's or to a news item I'm not going to blog on. I do feel like I know some of the Canadian bloggers better after one week though. I think that's a good thing.

3. I've also learned a lot of new pop culture items this week, simply by others mentioning things they're reading, hobbies, how they're using Twitter. Someone got a job in the Canadian economy! Someone was proposed to. You get to "see" a lot more of the world through this different online window that comes to you, you don't need to seek it out.

So it seems to me that Twitter is not just about what quality you can convey in 140 characters, it's the larger interaction that it's about.

So far, so good.