OK, I heard about twitter yonks and yonks ago – Alan started using it, then so too did Mike.

Then Mike published a list of texts he’d sent to Twitter last night whilst waiting for a date, and that pushed me back into investigating it this morning when I should have been getting ready to go out. (It’s so often been the source of me being horribly late… “Oh, I’ll just check my e-mail. And Cix. And usenet. And the blogs I follow, and the websites I click on every day. Ooh, that looks interesting…”)

So, Twitter is a quick thing, you tell it a one line post and it puts it on its own website, and makes it available for you to put on other websites. You can update it on the internet and by sending it a text message and through an IM client, although only a set of services I don’t use, like AIM.

So, it’s a bit like a mini-blog. Quick to update, but not so much space for wittering. A bit like the “status” bit of Facebook, but possible to incorporate it in other sites in a very Web 2.0 way.

Two further things occurred since I set it up this afternoon. What if I gave my Sat Nav program the Twitter SMS number? Navicore has a “beacon” function that texts your lat and long periodically to an SMS number of your choosing. I haven’t yet found a use for that, but when I was off round France for a long time, it would have been cool to send a regular series of co-ordinates to somewhere central to record them, and then plot them on a map on something like Google Earth.

Then I wondered about political uses for Twitter. It would be interesting to have people in the media eye to use it. “Ming Campbell is going into PMQs” for example. Or even “I’m in Full Council. This is taking ages!”

Both of those uses open up the chance for people whose interests are not terribly well aligned with yours to use your activity against you. Or stalk you. Is that a risk worth taking?

3 comments on “Twitter

  1. mike says:

    Ah well, have you discovered a) Twittervision (see also the FAQ) and b) US presidential candidate John Edwards’ Twitter page? It’s all kicking off!

  2. mike says:

    Not sure why your blog swallowed my previous comment, so here goes again, without links that might have been interpreted as spam.

    Re. inputting physical location: this is used by Twittervision, a fun little map-based representation of “tweets” from around the world. The FAQ tells you how to update your location.

    Re. politicians on Twitter: the US presidential candidate John Edwards is already a regular and much-followed Twitterer. Look for User Name johnedwards.

  3. niles says:

    Oooh, ta Mike.

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