I use Twitter pretty much only as a news channel today. When I first started a year and a half or two ago, my early Twitterverse expanded rapidly by adding everyone I talked to at local meetups. Over time, after looking at a lot of tools, of which I still find Twitter100.com-based the most useful, I’ve gradually rebuilt my Twitterverse around news about my interests.
My interests may not be your interests (and also may not match my interests six months from now). I’ve been in the tech business for 25 years in marketing and general management, initiating new business because it’s what I like to do, and I’m also a developer of whatever it takes, because it’s fun making things work and if I don’t have a clue how it works then it’s hard for me to sell it.
Today, Twitter as a set of personal news channels serves as an index for me into other online information. TechCrunch, Brian Solis, “Are Blogs Losing Their Authority to [Twitter] the Statusphere?” , summarizes how Twitter is deflating the blogosphere while creating a co-dependency with it.
So what do I want from Twitter? I want a channels for:
- Marketing Updates: what’s happening with new, mostly web and cell phone-based communications products (services, software, hardware) in terms of launches, rumors, reviews, sales trends, demographics trends, geographies, ecosystems, influencers, business strategy insights or speculations.
- New Developments in Development Platforms: Such as topics in Nginx, XMPP, Python, JQuery, Rails 2.3, large-scale distributed data object manipulation – I need more timely, more “spun,” and higher ROI info than I can get with blogsearch.google.com, Wikipedia, RSS, or filters like ReadWriteWeb, RubyInside. Tweets with links to posts or articles.
- News About My People: We’re already somewhat up-to-date and in context when we meet at the next meetup, Lunch 2.0, conference or unconference. Twitter-informed transformation in people’s knowledge of each other when I go to 3-4 tech or social meetups a week is remarkable. And it’s more leveragable than knowing the latest in the lives of nieces and nephews on Facebook.
- Global Community: I also follow people in Beijing, Tokyo, Berlin, Paris, New York, SF Bay Area to read in Chinese, Japanese, German, French — both to keep up on some of my languages (if there are tweets in classical Chinese, I haven’t found them yet — just maintaining a reasonable snarkiness coefficient and tech market vocabulary in several modern languages is a trick) and to get different perspectives in my areas of interest.
- Advocacy: Unilateral nuclear disarmament (Do it now!), de-provincialization, greening, bringing the human ecological burden on the planet down by at least 90%, Keynesian and information economics, language and culture interaction — creating 21st-century reality.
- An Ear into the Cultural Trace: Mostly relating to Western music since 1600 (and I do mean “since” — with all the social, technological, and political history, dialectic, and reinterpretations thrown in — and including music since 1950, which you will rarely hear on classical music radio. Also Chinese, Japanese, and Middle Eastern music new and old, plus jazz.