Last month, Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.net asked his Twitter followers — that includes me — why they loved Twitter. He took those responses and turned them into a video slideshow on YouTube enhanced with a rocking instrumental track.
Check me out around 4:03 AND AGAIN at 4:17. Yeah, that’s right — twice. Don’t worry. I’ll sign autographs at the end of this post. I just couldn’t capture my thoughts in 140 characters.
While most people highlighted Twitter’s ability to create a virtual water cooler or bring a bit of social to the desktop of those who work solo at home, my response was simply this:
I love twitter b/c it keeps me up to date on the latest happenings and makes it easy to share interesting finds.
Before going a little deeper to say…
Most people I talk to are outside of the contacts I have in real life, so I get exposed to things I may not have seen otherwise.
To expand on what I twittered — see, I told you I couldn’t keep it to 140 characters — Twitter has thus far been my forum for geeking out and releasing my blogosphere-hugging link monkey. It satisfies my fear of missing something by allowing me to listen in and respond to the conversations of hundreds of individuals that I admire/watch/read but never meet for coffee.
The real value in Twitter for me is being able to listen in on the thoughts of like-minded Internet junkies. It’s like being a talking fly on the wall in a Web 2.0 startup or a major blog. I find things on Twitter that I wouldn’t catch anywhere else, and I follow others who have interesting things to say even if I can’t keep their blog in my RSS reader due to the overload.
Twitter is also my release for early-adopter-itis. Despite what the walking-two-miles-in-the-snow, non-Internet types might believe, friends from my own generation have not completely jumped aboard the twit-train or the Internet. While Facebook has gone mainstream, I am, for the most part, alone among my off-line friends in my Twitter usage and social network-aholism. I often explain Internet memes to friends and co-workers, but in Twitter, I get to join a cloud of people that know what’s up online. Is Twitter the Cheers bar of the Internet future?
I haven’t gotten the return value of a Scoble just yet due to the “friend divide” that Scoble defined. My growing army of followers don’t yield the huge number of responses that a ProBlogger can amount, but regardless, I have found value in Twitter because the people I follow keep me in the loop and make me, as Scoble said, “smarter, richer, cooler, and funnier” — and better looking.