Tweet or not to tweet.
Tweet or not to Tweet? I have not. And I really don’t see the point for me personally, but this article today in the Times is interesting and is making me give following some artist I think are cool a second thought.
I’m curious to know if its helpful work wise or fun wise for you?
By PAUL BOUTIN
Published: February 10, 2010
Unlike Facebook, whose builders strive to make it an ever more organized social network, Twitter seems to thrive on being a jumble.
It is an egalitarian sort of mess: Twitter does not sort its users into categories, does not tag some as celebrities, does not map out who does lunch with whom in the real world. You and Shaquille O’Nealare Twitter equals, only he has an extra 2.8 million followers.
Retweet is a Web site that culls Twitter postings for tech-savvy users.
But that loose nature also makes it hard to find out who is there to follow. Twitter has no searchable directory of users as Facebook does.
There is no map of the Twitter landscape to guide newcomers, although the company does maintain lists of suggested users by topic.
There is also a Web site, Listorious listorious.com where volunteers publish personally chosen lists of posters to follow based on specific themes. But it is hit or miss. The Best of Photography list is a sharp collection of 29 eye-catching feeds, but Tech News People is a pile of
499 journalists for you to sort through.
So, how do you figure out who to follow? Start with a sweeping
generalization: Twitter users can be grouped into different categories. For each, there is an automated site somewhere that lets you follow the genre without having to find and follow dozens, or even hundreds, of individual Twitter streams.
CELEBRITY POSTS Twitter seems to be an irresistible draw for the superfamous like Oprah Winfrey. A typical post: “Just saw Avatar.
Wowee Kazowee!! InterviewingJames Cameron tomorrow and Lady Gaga.
Can’t sleep. So excited.”
Ms. Winfrey seems to honestly enjoy the chance to connect with her fans without a producer or a script. Same for the actor Ben Stiller, who has been posting links to Haiti disaster relief for weeks.
You can find celebrity accounts by searching Google for, say, “Twitter Ben Stiller.” Or, even better, you can let the machines do the work:
The automated site CelebrityTweet.comtracks a few hundred verified accounts of celebrities, and posts anything on Twitter by them on CelebrityTweet’s home page. That sounds overwhelming, but it turns out to be one new Tweet every one to three minutes, most of them only a few words.
Rainn Wilson, of the NBC comedy “The Office,” recently posted, “Classical music makes me want to cut my ears off and eat them like raw ear jerky.”
Twitter has done surprisingly well at keeping out fakes who pretend to be celebrities by individually vetting accounts, discouraging ghost writers and adding a verified account seal.
So, yes, you can trust that is really Demi Moore typing.
POLITICIANS’ POSTS “Everyone should follow the people who represent them,” the political pundit Ana Marie Cox said in an interview.
Twitter, Ms. Cox says, is a more efficient way than the mass media or a Web site for public servants to let constituents know what they are working on or where they stand. Assuming you know who your elected officials are, the Google search trick will find their accounts.
But prepare to be disappointed.
Unlike Hollywood stars, most politicians let their interns do their posting for them.President Obama’s account — @barackobama — during the
2008 election campaign was written by staff members of the Democratic National Committee, according to a White House spokesman. The committee’s Organizing for America project now manages the account.
Even comic-turned-Senator Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, does not write his own messages. As a result, politics on Twitter can be informative, but not necessarily inspiring. The site Politics Tweet follows more than 200 American politicians, just as CelebrityTweet tracks movie stars. But the posted messages consist largely of dull check-ins from events, and links to non-Twitter content on politicians’ Web sites.
For a while last year, it seemed things might turn around when Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, typed some angry Twitter messages aimed at Mr. Obama, the former junior senator from Illinois.
His best-known status update: “When you are a ‘hammer’ u think evrything is NAIL I’m no NAIL.”
Alas, Mr. Grassley seems to have learned to control his Twitter temper. A recent message: “45 people at town meet in Traer. Obviously small turnout bc it started 7am.”
PHOTO AND VIDEO POSTERS Twitter does not allow users to upload photos directly. Instead, there’s a cottage industry of sites with cutesy names like TwitPic, TweetPhoto and Twitgoo meant specifically to tie photos and videos into Twitter. Just go to PingWire, which scans Twitter for links to those sites and more. PingWire creates a live feed that displays a slow, scrolling wall of thumbnail-size versions of photos being posted to Twitter at the moment, and it is hypnotic to watch.
To save a photo, right-click it with your mouse and open the link in a new window.
TECH-SAVVY POSTERS The Internet has its own shadow culture, a tech-savvy nation separated from mainstream culture with sites like Slashdot and Boing Boing carrying CNN-like clout online.
Twitter posts, though, have been dominated by mainstream Americans almost from the start. Top items on Twitter’s Trending Topics list recently were discussions labeled “#donttalktome” and “#uselessfacts.”
If you are nostalgic for more tech-oriented posts, try Tweetmeme and Retweet.com, two automated sites that track the news stories, images and videos their users are posting about the most. Top stories tend to be less about the Haiti earthquake and more about Internet Explorer.
LUNCH OUT Brad Holcman, a Los Angeles resident, says Twitter changed the way many Angelenos eat.
“In L.A., you can’t always drive to lunch, so lunch has to come to you,” he says, referring to the food trucks that drive from one office location to another. Traffic jams can keep the trucks from sticking to a regular schedule. Twitter has emerged as the means used by food truck operators to alert their fans as they roll from spot to spot.
The practice has spread to other cities. A truck that makes crème brûlée in San Francisco has nearly 10,000 followers.
Mr. Holcman took the obvious next step: He set up an account, @FoodTruckLA, that reposts the messages from dozens of Los Angeles trucks as a single stream. That gives hungry patrons a single up-to-the-minute feed of which rolling restaurant will be where, and when.
During a phone call outside Marked5, a Japanese hamburger truck, Mr.
Holcman said that having the schedules appear in his Twitter feeds was the best way to get his attention. “Sometimes,” he said between bites, “you need to be reminded to eat.”
– Kohl Norville