NOTE: Robyn, from Elephant Poop, took time to respond to the Twitter article. Below is her response and how she finds Twitter useful in her life. Enjoy!

Hey, Eric!

Well, I really don’t spend a lot of time ON it; I have it open in a sidebar of Firefox and set to update every three minutes, though it may be as long as several hours before I actually open the sidebar to look at the tweets. It’s more or less like music playing very softly in the background. Every so often I turn up the volume, then turn it down again after the piece I like has finished. And if I’m on deadline or just not interested, I shut Twitter down, often without announcement. No one seems to mind.

I don’t follow a lot of people – for teenagers it may be quantity (how many can you follow and how many are following you?), but I’m kinda selective. Right now, I’m following about 14. There are some bloggers I follow and they often will tweet when they’ve uploaded a new post or if they’re attending a conference and just heard something interesting. I like when I get short updates about areas I’m interested in. For example, Jackie Peters was at the same conference as Peter Shankman, who was giving the keynote address and she mentioned that Peter’s address was on “PR and transparency on social networks,” something I think I want to know more about. I know Peter will likely put his presentation on his blog, so I now I know to be looking for it.

As for entertainment, I follow Guy Kawasaki (who is generally too busy to blog more than a couple of times a month) and he linked to some pics (using Twit Pic) of his trip to Kuala Lumpur while it was happening, including some imposing temple steps he climbed, the great seats you get on Cathay air and a fabulous dinner you can have in Indonesia while having to look at an advertisement for ear candling! It’s noodling and minutiae, but it makes the world my backyard, so to speak, while letting me feel as though I am more connected to the people I follow. I wish more of my friends and family would join and use it – most of them live hundreds of miles from me and I would like to know about some of their small victories and defeats as well as their large ones. I have one sister with a chronic disease who occasionally tweets and it’s great to be able to hear from her even if it’s only 140 words or less at a time!

Like a lot of people, I got a Twitter account a year or so ago, but didn’t use it because I couldn’t see the benefit. But there were a few people online whose ideas interested me and sparked my own ideas. So I started following them to see if their short posts were as interesting as their long ones. I do have one person I started following who blogs too much about her yard and kids, but for the most part it hasn’t been disappointing. Maybe it’s like the haiku of the online world – a way to connect without giving up your life to email or feed reading. If you stick to reading the poets whose work you find interesting, you can learn and be entertained at the same time on several levels in several idioms. It has also reminded me of learning the
value of each word you use (something I didn’t do in this reply, but I’m just getting over a bad sinus infection, so I’m still a little woozy). Okay, okay, I nearly always write too much and have to edit myself! :-) If this had been Twitter, I probably would have said it shorter and sweeter!

Thanks for the opportunity to connect with you!

Robyn

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