Thanks to the wonderful analytical service ThinkUp, this morning I realized that I joined Twitter as @bitdepth and started sharing little updates 8 years ago today. It's a long time in Internet years and Twitter has become the main thing that I do online. The blog here has been around longer, but I don't blog every day, but tweeting is something that happens at least once a day. Using the service has become part of my life and it's how I find out what is happening with news and with many friends. While Facebook is still around and is the main source of news and networking for many, I've honed and tuned my Twitter stream to the point where it is all mine and I love it.
In the old days I had only met one or two people that I followed in real life. The world of Twitter for me was virtual and I hadn't thought that I'd ever meet many people who were on the service. One of the early rules I had was to not follow more than 99 people. The only way that to follow someone new was to unfollow someone. But things have changed now and I follow a lot more people and there are many people that I follow that I know in real life. Friends even.
The most amazing thing is how seamless and invisible the whole thing has become. It's one of the first things I do in the morning and the pulse is there all day while checking in to find out what is happening in the world and with the people I follow. They're my friends and there is no need to qualify whether they are "real" or "virtual" any more than someone who you talk with on the phone is at a varying level of reality. Twitter is a medium, a way to connect with people, and I love it.
The early days were cell phone-based and the phones were simpler and it was more expensive. At first the only way to start using Twitter was with a cell phone. You would sign up through SMS. Twitter was mainly mobile. Then the web site allowed you to do more and the first clients came out and in January of 2007, Twitterrific came out for the Mac and that became how I used Twitter and stayed with the Iconfactory's client ever since. Craig Hockenberry of Iconfactory even coined the word "tweet" for the updates on Twitter. When I finally got an iPhone (a 4 was the first model that I had), the iPhone Twitterrific client became my choice for most of what I tweet.
Every morning I send out a tweet usually about the oatmeal that I so often have. When I watch films I let people know what I am watching. There are also small messages between people who are having good days, bad days, or just having fun. Connecting and sharing is what is the strength of social networks and the friends that we have. I'm so glad that there is a way that makes it easier and has allowed me to expand the circle of my friends and to stay connected with them.