The new year came about in slightly odd style for me, confined as I was to bed with a reasonably decent hot toddy. Similarly the news that one Rupert Murdoch had joined twitter caused much consternation. Mostly I was just shocked that it either wasn’t a fake or had managed somehow to fake it’s way into being verified. The fact that it has since proven to be real has, I must say, actually given me some respect for the man. Many a senior employee in many a company would do well to engage with the future rather than rail against it.
So, when did I first join twitter? And why? Well it’s almost four and a half years ago now, or 13,639 tweets ago. My friend Ian (@maniacyak) had recently joined and had been mentioning it for some time. I was massively sceptical as to why I would use twitter when the only use I could see for it was updating my FaceBook status. I couldn’t see the use in yet another social network. Here’s my first tweet:
Boring, isn’t it? It drew comments on FaceBook and no response whatsoever on twitter. I duly followed @maniacyak back for snaring me in and then a few of my other friends joined over the coming months, but I hit a problem. I had nothing interesting to say I wouldn’t rather blog or place on FaceBook, and not enough interesting people to say it to or to read things from. I’d log on to twitter.com every so often read the few tweets that had appeared since I last logged on and then leave.
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Facebook have updated their site design again, in what many say is an attempt to counter the growing popularity of twitter. I’m in two minds about the update. On the one hand it’s facebook’s site and theirs to do what they want with. If I want control of content, delivery and style then that’s what this blog is for (and long term readers can attest to the issues in that model). Alternatively, though, I now look like the most spamming user in the world. This is because I feed facebook from a number of sources, so all my status updates are just shipped in from twitter, links come from my delicious bookmarks and google reader shared items, images are all uploaded to flickr with a notification to facebook and my likes on youtube and last.fm are moved over as well. Also, of course my blog comes through from it’s RSS feed.
And I can see that to a point that works rather well, I have no desire to use Facebook to do all my activity on, as I’m already happily using those sites to perform the functions they’re good at. However, I also gain because by linking back to facebook I can still update my friends on what I’m doing.
Until recently these updates were much less prominent, in large part because facebook was in the habit of only showing the latest status updates or activity of each person in the news feed. Now, however, it seems happy to show multiple events from a single user on the main page, and also to show updates from a feed instantly.
This makes a user like me who feeds in a lot of content swamp their friends news feeds. I don’t like the idea of that so I hope facebook either introduce options for throttling your own activity updates back a bit. Alternatively you can hide me, but then you get nothing, which seems to defeat the point rather.
This morning I was feeling contemplative, pensive and ponderous. My thoughts turned to my beard and I wondered idly if perhaps I should go clean shaven for a bit. Fortunately support for the beard rattled in. A subsequently mentioned internet oddity involving a woman who knits beards led me back to the wonder that is Beard Revue where I soon found myself with a t-shirt purchase conundrum that could not be solved simply by crowdsourcing an opinion from twitter, so I figured I should test the polling plugin I just got for the blog.
(no poll? click here to go to my blog and fill it in)