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To Twitter or not to Twitter…

So I’ve been following Cole’s twitter adventures and commentary, and I must say…I still don’t get it. I guess I kind of understand his perspective from his recent post, but it still doesn’t make much sense for me. I just created an account, but honestly, I don’t plan on using it much unless some compelling reason jumps out at me. My twitter would probably look something like:
- At work, reading emails/correspondence
- At work, learning about Second Life
- At work, meeting about X, Y, or Z
- Finally home, logging into Warcraft
- Dinner
- Spending time with Emily
- Zzzzzz

Most of my close friends and the people I care about know this pattern all to well. Sure, I could fill these out to be more specific, but why is that interesting? When I do come across interesting aspects relating to any of the above items, I usually post them here in the blog, or some other digital space appropriate to the specific task I am engaged in. I dunno…privacy bells ring in my head the way I see Twitter, but not in the traditional sense of Internet privacy (if that makes any sense?).

Now, what I DO see interesting about twitter is the possibilities for research, probably in the qualitative arena. This system appears to be extremely accessible (from various devices/outlets), and would allow people, both researchers and research subjects, a 24/7/365 avenue to track their experiments, and even a data collection method. What would be really interesting, informative, and somewhat comical, would be to get 5-10 people to abandon meat-space (a new word I re-discovered today via. Ludlow’s SL interview by Henry Jenkins) for a week, and spend all their waking moments living digitally, in Second Life, There, Warcraft…whatever MMO they choose. Then utilize something like Twitter to collect data not only on what they are DOING in the digital realm all week, but what they are FEELING. Lonely? Bored? More fun than first-life? Less social interaction? More?

EDIT: After lunch with Cole and some of the ETS crew, I think I’ll give it a shot. I think I have a better idea of the potential draw of twitter…

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  1. February 12th, 2007 at 19:59 | #1

    It is all a grand experiment … much like blogging in the early days. IF you remember there were many around us (even in SI) who thought it was a very strange exercise in vanity at best. Several years later and we can all see value. All these things require us to throw ourselves into them to really understand what is going on. Even without the social component the 140 charater limit creates a very interesting “Twitter Stream” of a given day’s events. Add the social and it a whole new ball of wax. I’m still not sure it has long term legs, but it sure has captured the attention of a lot of people around me. I’ll hang out at the party a little more to see what emerges.

    BTW, I find your updates to be interesting … I am surprised I didn’t see any, “playing WoW, again.” ;-)

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