by Richard on January 21, 2008

I’m not entirely sure I get the whole social networking thing. Facebook, as I mentioned in a comment the other day, leaves me feeling pretty bewildered.
Prompted by this article, I thought I’d have a look at twitter, so I have an account, but twitter is even more puzzling than Facebook.

Am I too old? Can someone explain to me how this might be useful. Short, simple sentences would be best!

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }


gavin 01.21.08 at 4:43 pm

i’ve gotten into following the twitter more lately. it is kinda fun to just leave random thoughts through the day. not terribly thrilled with people who constantly advert on twitter, but you skip over their short thoughts. you would want to use tinyurl site if you are going to plug in links..


Steve 01.21.08 at 4:57 pm

I know I probably miss the point, but I basically use it as a group SMS/IM which I can access from any device (phone, web, IM, etc) - with a web archive. I’ve got a couple of guys from my church community who I follow and it helps us stay connected during the week while we’re at work. The thing I like about twitter is that there are a number of ways it can be used - I think it’s a good communication platform upon which other services can be built.

It’s also a good platform for news dissemination - there is always one weblog which posts the MacWorld keynote “liveblog” via twitter. Of course, this year, all the MacWorld twitterers brought the system down so it wasn’t much use this time.

But you’re right. We’re all probably too old to really “get” any of these technologies. I still don’t understand why anyone would want to use IM or SMS over email, which shows that I’m already a dinosaur.


Richard 01.21.08 at 6:45 pm

That’s the wrong answer, Steve. You were supposed to say something along these lines: “Of course you’re not too old” :)

Thanks for the hint about tinyurl, gavin. That’s another thing I’ve never got into using, but I should.


PamBG 01.21.08 at 7:49 pm

Of course you’re too old! (Yes, I know - think? - I’m older than you!)


Richard 01.21.08 at 7:52 pm

If I’m too old for Facebook and twitter, does that mean I’m entitled to a mid-life crisis?


PamBG 01.21.08 at 7:58 pm

Hey, baby, we’re all entitled to a mid-life crisis! ;-)

[Sorry for the argot, been listening to African-American preaching]


Rodney Olsen 01.21.08 at 9:46 pm

Your final line in this post - “Short, simple sentences would be best!” - proves that you already have the concept of Twitter worked out. :)


Richard 01.21.08 at 9:49 pm



Paul Martin 01.21.08 at 10:08 pm

On the God Channel, Pam?

Praise the Lord!


Beth 01.21.08 at 10:35 pm

The point of Facebook, Richard, is to play Scrabble. Simple as that.


Bene D 01.22.08 at 2:21 am

Doc Searls unpacked this social networking stuff.

Twitter is a social medium. Facebook is a social habitat. Twitter is a new breed of Web site/service that grew out of blogging. Facebook is a walled garden: a place you have to go to be social in the ways it facilitates and permits. In this respect Facebook is AOL 2.0. By calling both “social media” we blur distinctions that are necessary for making sense of highly varied progress (or movement in less positive directions) in the online world.

I was petsitting end of last week and the owner had a Facebook account. I went over and played for awhile.

I’m not too old, I’m just not social.:^)
While the apps were easier to use than blogging ones, I felt like I was back in high school where people stuck notes on my locker. That’s great if you are in high school, I’m not disparaging that passage of life.

Really though, all it seemed to me to be like is an open (public) email inbox with apps designed by Facebook.


Wood 01.22.08 at 8:58 am

Twitter is like this amazing experiment in communal non-sequiturs. You experiment with language. There’s maybe four kinds of twitter accounts: ones that are basically The Dullest Blog in the World without the irony, ones that are entirely impenetrable if you don’t know the person, ones which are basically wholly “hey look at this link” posts, and ones which post wonderful three-dimensional zen truthnuggets. I like the zen truthnuggets.

I have an account, by the way:


Richard 01.22.08 at 9:05 am

Are they anything like chicken nuggets?


Rachel C 01.23.08 at 1:28 am

I hear your point (I blogged about using twitter today too). Lots of these things are things we play with and don’t necessarily “get” unless there’s a critical mass of our contacts that are using it too.

I never got the attraction of MySpace because not enough of my friends were on there. All I could see are the negatives of using it (and none of these services are perfect).

I got the attraction of Facebook because I was able to re-connect with friends especially through their photos and their status updates. I got hooked on status updates then realised how “walled in” Facebook status updates were. Plus there wasn’t an archive, or a way to export them if for some mad reason I wanted to re-read random thoughts I was thinking a year ago, or earlier. Twitter offers those things and the ability for me to still my Facebook friends without extra hassle.

Maybe I’ll switch off Twitter in a week, or a month’s time. Who knows, I guess it’s a part of the “play” aspect.

When I found out about Heath Ledger’s death this morning, I added it to Twitter. I’d never have blogged about it, I don’t have enough thoughts or insight on the matter, but I was able to “tell people” the news from the loneliness of an office desk.


Rachel C 01.23.08 at 1:30 am

Oops, I was meant to use short sentences!


PamBG 01.24.08 at 5:56 pm

On the God Channel, Pam?

Sorry, on the internet.

God Channel????

Wash your mouth out! ;-)

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