Monday, August 30, 2010
Yes, I am going to talk about Twitter. No, don’t run away! I know that you are scared of it but I promise that I’ll make this as painless as possible.
I had those exact thoughts that are currently going through your mind. Who is interested in what Paris Hilton or Justin whateverhisnameis had for breakfast? Do I really care if some bloke in Greenpoint is craving a MacDonald’s Cheese Burger right now? Of course not, but that is not what Twitter is about, folks. Twitter is full of fascinating people all willing to share their interests, knowledge and opinions with others in 140 characters or less.
Yes, you have Facebook and that already takes up a lot of your time. (bucketloads of time of you are a Farmville addict) Your profile is a great way to connect with your tjommies, family and old school buddies from all over the world and share photos of your offspring, pets and recent holidays. With Twitter one can search for, find and follow people with similar interests to you, people who live in the same town as you, people who you admire etc and guess what – they can never bore you! How can anyone be boring in 140 characters?
What they can be though is flippin funny! There are some people that I follow that have me in stitches. Because one has to be concise on Twitter, there is no waffling or posturing. Everyone is very friendly and polite but if you don’t like what someone is tweeting about – just unfollow them. Simple.
I recently started following @tamiya_t who I swear was tweeting whilst she was giving birth! Her tweets about life with a new born baby is bringing the whole experience back to me like it was yesterday. @SamWilson1 describes herself in her Bio as a “Feminist, anarchist and functional alcoholic. Renegade parent.” Besides the fact that she is the Editor-in-Chief of Women24, Parent24 and Food24, wouldn’t that bio make you want to hear what she has to say?
Watching TV has taken on a whole new dynamic now that I can enjoy other people’s comments whilst watching a programme or a rugby match. The real-time interaction with Twitter via my BlackBerry does annoy my family a tad though. Chicken Man does not understand that I can listen to him tell me about his day, watch TV, cook dinner and be on Twitter at the same time and I still know what he is rabbiting on about. The Alien understands. She has to be surgically removed from MXit at bedtime.
The banter between some tweeters who have been friends for a long time makes me feel like an eavesdropper at time. @FionaSnyckers (loving her books), @brodiegal (who volunteered at a hospital during the strike and found humour in bedpans and floor mops)@alambchop whose children are referred to as thing one and thing two.
I like to follow journalists, bloggers and DJ’s because not only do you get the news quicker, but having a sense of humour must be a prerequisite for those jobs: @matthewsavides who is fasting over Ramadan to experience what Muslims go through annually; @KaraboKgoleng from SAFM; @shesthegeek who reviews gadgets; @lihle_z who recently moved to New York (read her column in the Sunday Times); @lesterkk from eNews. Personalities like @F1sasha (Sasha Martinengo)and @GarethCliff are really genuine and interactive on Twitter(yes, I am surprised...and impressed) @clivesimpkins is so quick off the mark with his replies and comments. He is like the big daddy watching over the twitter kids! @Anatinus, @AkiAnastasiou, @innov8ive...the list goes on...
Finding and following Tweeps in Durban has been rewarding. The first person I followed when I joined Twitter was @OliviaSymcox who shares photos of the sun rising over the Durban ocean most mornings. What a way to start your day! @becauseI has a novel initiative to get herself a new car. See www.myr260car.co.za. Good luck with that, Briget!
Since being the 1000th person to follow @ECRBIGBreakfast I have discovered loads more people in Durban to follow (Durban is only the 5th most active province on Twitter in SA) Through ECR Big Breakfast I have learnt that: I need to reassess my garden and go for plastic plants instead; I am looking forward to following the progress of @juliekreusch’s vegetable garden; and that I am crap at riddles in the morning.
As I am following nearly 300 people I cannot mention them all but each person/company brings something to my life. Some I follow for their expertise and knowledge that they generously share on Twitter. Others keep me up to date with what is happening in the news and in my neighbourhood. Some are inspiring; some are just darn right funny.
So to all those Twitterphobes out there – go on and try it. Whether it be for business or pleasure, with a little bit of time and effort, I guarantee you that you will soon be hooked.