Sometimes when you follow the web closely you have the tendency sometime to "over think" certain things or new tools to use on the web that are new (I know I do). Last year when Jaiku, Twitter and Tumblr hit geeks (Leo, Dvorak, Merlin) and non geeks alike everyone was asking, "If you have IM and blogs why do you need something like this?" (i.e. Twitter). I asked the same thing. I remember joining Twitter and then dropping it because
1. No friends to "twit" with
2. Jaiku made more sense to me at the time
Well here it is July and I am a "Twittin'/Jaikuin'/Tumblrin' fool. I finally get it now. As you all know I am working non stop, full time and a part time job and about time I get home most nights now I do not really have time to do my favorite thing; surf the web, read tech news, find new software to download, test and share it with my friends (you, my web friends out there). If I go by the schedule I mapped out for myself I may be able to do it (which I never stick to, it's always "hit and miss"). With tools like Twitter, Jaiku, Tumblr it's like IM/blogging/texting all wrapped up in one. These three ways (and Pownce right behind it) is in a way replacing keeping in contact via email.
A month or so back while listening to MacBreak Weekly(find episode) Merlin Mann (43 Folders) was talking with Justine Ezarik on how when the MacBreak crew was together she was texting the whole time and Merlin did not mean anything mean by it (Justin apologized to Merlin) and Merlin said something that was so profound: people that are on the web in a certain age bracket are finding that emailing one another is "too slow". The more I use Twitter, Jaiku and soon Pownce (whenever I find the time to set up my accounts...thank you Fave, Patrice, Jen) the less I email. Already having IM accounts which is cool but sometime you don't have time to log in and see who's online.
With Twitter, think of this as a "electronic bulletin board. You see what your friends are up to and you can jot down a "quick note" on what you are up to at that moment. Amber calls it voyeurism or "stalking" in a joking way but in all honesty you really become close with people even if you haven't met them face to face before. With these little powerful mediums you can send links, send pictures, now send music to one another to share with everyone. The cool thing about this way of communicating you can choose who to follow, who to allow to follow you and with Pownce, you have levels (like Vox) who you wish to see your mini post.
Tumblr is a mini blog. With Tumblr you basically throw up photos, links, embed videos, photos with captions, the whole gambit. With Blogger, Vox, Wordpress those are full blown blogging tools and at times a quick thought may pop in your head and you just want to share it without going through the whole "blogging" thing (I know it doesn't make sense but just bare with me). Again, you can do that with your blogs but with Tumblr its like a "no brainer". You come across a funny picture...throw it up on Tumblr, a Video, throw it up there...Tumblr is like watching a Simpsons episode and you are trying to explain it and have way through your explaination when people are looking at you like, "what's so funny about that?" Tumblr is the same...you just have to try it and you see what I mean.
Jaiku and Pownce are little more powerful that Twitter. These two not only can see what your friends are up to, but like Tumblr, you can also put your rss feeds from your blogs or any blog for that matter and whenever something new is posted it will post it automatic. I use Twitter for seeing what my fellow twits are up to and Jaiku and Tumblr for sharing my new post on my blogs and again I can post what I am up to on Jaiku.
With these pretty cool tools of communication you can tweak your background to fit your personality and have it stand out. Most people now are using IM or Twitter or cell phones to keep in touch instead of emailing. Some people may say, "you know meeting people in person is a option." This is not taking the place of physically meeting people but what this is doing is putting people together that have the same interest and cutting through sometimes time wasted thinking you may have many things in common and it turns out that you and that person do not "click" and I don't mean "hooking up" kind of click I mean just really getting to know someone. I have heard people and read that this much "reach out and touch someone in a nanosecond" can be a overload but it hit me this morning that it is helping really slow down. What I mean is that by having these tools now, instead of having to worry about writing a long piece on something you can now just post a link and everyone can see it and you can go on about your business. For me it's helping manage my time instead of thinking, "I have to write a post on this write away" and for me being pressed for time this is a blessing for me.
This past Tuesday in the Wall Street Journal's Marketplace section, there was an article about how more and more corporations are beginning to utilize IM (instant messaging) instead of the emailing. Adeco was called upon to add 300 extra workers for a computer maker and within hours Senior Vice President Steve Baruch was able to reach three states to get the workers they needed. Mr. Baruch stated, "If I had relied on email and phone calls, the same process could have taken him as long as three days. " (from the article: Instant Messaging Invades the Office by Carola Mamberto, The Wall Street Journal's Marketplace, Tuesday, July 24, 2007).
As they(corporations) are finding out sometimes you need to be in "real time" mode instead of after the fact. Some businesses are using it when in phone conferencing, in face to face meetings. They are finding out that instant messaging is not just something people are using to gossip in the office on their time. Just like people are finding that students are using their iPods more than just music Twitter, Jaiku, IM accounts are keeping people abreast of what they really need to know and the best part of this medium is that we can control who we talk to when we want to which is pretty nice. The joy of being a geek and sharing new,cool stuff, it really brings my heart joy covering things like this.
Like I said, I get it now.