General disclaimer for pre-2010 posts: I've changed a lot over the years, and posts this old may not represent my views anymore.

Twitter in plain English

From Evan Williams’ blog I came across Twitter in Plain English by Common Craft. It’s only two and a half minutes and gives a great explanation of what Twitter is:

As you can see from the comments on that page, Twitter’s not just about what you ate for breakfast. (And thank heavens, because yes, that would be excruciatingly boring after a day or two. Unless you’re one heck of a food writer. And can do it in 140 characters.)

No, Twitter’s a way to create communities and share ideas. I’ve been on for two months now and it’s got me hooked. It’s proven to be a really good way to stay abreast of what’s going on and what’s interesting. For me, it’s an easy way to share things I don’t want to write a full blog post on. (I’m also using Google Reader’s “Note in Reader” bookmarklet extensively for the same sort of thing — sharing interesting stuff I come across. I use del.icio.us as well, but more for things I want to come back to later and don’t want to forget about.)

And you know, because you only have 140 characters per message, it doesn’t take up much of your time, either in reading or in posting. Seriously, coming up with a tweet takes less than a minute, sometimes a mere matter of seconds. Blog posts are way more work. :) (Yeah, I realize the irony here.)

Anyway, if you’re not on Twitter yet, give it a whirl for a few weeks and see if you like it. There’s a lot of downtime but that doesn’t seem to matter, strangely enough. (I think that may be because the messages are so short, but I’m not sure.) My Twitter username is bencrowder.

Also: be sure to check out Common Craft’s other videos on Web 2.0 stuff in plain English. Good stuff.

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