One month ago, I wrote on this blog that I would begin using Twitter for a month, and see how it worked, both technically and practically. Now, one month later, here are some reflections:

  1. Overall, I liked it. I added observations and comments via the Web and my cell phone (via text messaging), and it all worked pretty well.
  2. I found myself making three types of comments — secret gripes about things I didn’t have an outlet for at the time, quick observations, probably trivial, and small blog entries (micro-blogging). All three were interesting enough, and very easy to contribute.
  3. I found myself reading the micro-blogging of a few Twitter feeds I followed. I knew when certain people were going to a movie, eating hot dogs, traveling, feeling bored/anxious/tired, reading something they liked, going to the vet, etc. It gave me insights into the lives of people I like, and a new perspective on them and their lives. It was a good connector in a unique way. It added spice.
  4. I was fooled by a Stephen Colbert poser. One night shortly after I started the experiment, I received an email saying that Stephen T. Colbert had begun following my Twitter feed. I’d just Twittered something about Colbert, so I figured this was some automatic filter that had set this up. But it was still exciting. I’m a big Colbert fan, and the site looked legitimate enough. But I found out that it was a sham. Oh well.
  5. I could Twitter from darn near anywhere, including from my car stuck in traffic (not moving!), meetings (sorry), my deck, breakfast, or late at night. It became pretty spontaneous.
  6. Twitter is a community all its own. It has technical problems, etiquette, chicanery, and tools that are interesting. It’s growing, maturing. It’s worth watching.
  7. Twitter is young. There are still people doing silly things on it. Mixed feelings about that.
  8. Technically, Twitter is unstable. Either it is so popular that they are having a hard time keeping the infrastructure scaling with its growth, or it’s poorly architected, or both. But it went down 2-3 times during the month, not a big deal, but a source of frustration for me and many people on Twitter.

All in all, I’m glad I did it, and I will continue to Twitter. As Steve Horowitz from Google said in a video about their new Android cell phone platform, to create (or get to know) a product, “you actually have to live with it.”

I couldn’t agree more.

[You can find my Twitter feed here.]

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Kent Anderson

Kent Anderson

Kent Anderson is the CEO of RedLink and RedLink Network, a past-President of SSP, and the founder of the Scholarly Kitchen. He has worked as Publisher at AAAS/Science, CEO/Publisher of JBJS, Inc., a publishing executive at the Massachusetts Medical Society, Publishing Director of the New England Journal of Medicine, and Director of Medical Journals at the American Academy of Pediatrics. Opinions on social media or blogs are his own.

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