Please don't call me a Twitterer

Please don't call me a Twitterer

For the vast majority of my life, I was the guy who had every gadget, whatsit, and whosit before anyone else I knew. But (and I'm showing my age here), I never really got into text messages--for two simple reasons. I strongly dislike the T9 input method. It sucks, it's slow, and it make all sorts of random and exciting mistakes. Second, with the exception of my pal Mike, none of my friends are texters. One of my friends even had the gall to bitch that I cost him a dime every time I fired a message his way.

Boo freakin' hoo.

Twitter screenshotLuckily, my text-saavy buddy Mike sent me a link to texting's perfect gateway drug--Twitter. Twitter is one-part text message party line and one part CB radio. No one I've introduced to it has been able to really describe exactly what Twitter's good for, but they all agree that it's damn cool. Here's how it works:

  • First, you sign up for the service, and give Twitter your IM handle and cell phone number (don't worry, they won't sell your info to the Man).
  • Then you nag your friends to sign up, and add them to your friend list.
  • Then, you let Twitter know what you're up to--either by sending an IM, logging into the web, or sending an SMS message to 40404--and Twitter automatically forwards that info on to your pals via their preferred communication channels (SMS, IM, or web-only)
  • Enjoy the constant information flow between you and your best buds.

Now, the neat thing is that you only recieve messages from people who you've added as friends. You don't automatically get messages from people who've added you to their friends list. So, you'll only get blasted with updates from the people you want to, not the random masses.

So, you get the idea right? Of course, the value you get from twitter is determined entirely by the quality of people you add as friends. While I was in Austin a few weeks ago, my Twitter pals told me where the good parties were, where I could get a good breakfast, and all sorts of other useful info. On the other hand, I (briefly) had a friend who used Twitter to inform the world about his bowel movements. Needless to say, he's not my Twitter friend anymore.

Naturally, Twitter also includes a ton of useful tricks, so you can send private messages to pals, disable SMS messages when you want some peace and quiet, access Twitter using your phone's web browser, or even add a Twitter widget to your desktop, dashboard, or sidebar.

So, if you think Twitter sounds interesting, you can sign up in about five minutes. But, before you add a ton of friends make sure your SMS plan can handle some extra messages.



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