Friday, May 8, 2009

This Twitter thing

I think I might try an experiment. Last year I wrote about how much of a time drain the Internet can be if you don't set a few parameters for it. Checking your e-mail 10 or more times an hour, allowing yourself to be swept away from your task at hand by digging too deep into extraneous side subjects in Wikipedia or just surfing too much can effectively steal hours of your day.

I love blogging but often times find it difficult to post interesting and informative updates because I'm on the road doing art festivals much of my year. I tried a few times to update this blog via my smart phone when a reliable WiFi connection wasn't available but that sucked and I quickly abandoned that idea. I could however make quick posts another way very easily.

I might have a partial solution to this dilemma. Twitter. For the 2 people who might read this that doesn't know what Twitter is all about go here first and then return to finish reading my post.

I was wondering about just how I've patterned my use of the Internet for the past decade (or more) and thought it might be interesting to see if there was a way for me to centralize my online time by using Twitter as my only link to the Net. A jumping off point of sorts. I would gradually wean myself from e-mail, my RSS reader, my habit of checking out all of my favorites websites on a daily basis and concentrate on building a base of like minded, interesting contacts on Twitter that would "feed me" all of the information I currently get in the fragmented way I'm currently using the Net. The way that took me years to develop these habits I've become accustomed too.

Let me explain further. Instead of opening up Mailplane (a Google e-mail application) to fire off a lengthy e-mail to someone, I would just send a 140 character @ message to them via Twitter. Maybe it would just be to direct them to an interesting article I want them to see.

Instead of using my Google RSS reader to "push" me information it thinks I need to see, I would rely on my Twitter contacts to tells me what they think is important for me to take the time to check out. Same goes with FriendFeed. If I construct a reliable and trusted group of friends on Twitter, opinions I trust, to send me to info they think it's important for me to see, I wouldn't waste as much time as I currently do following up on my out dated daily routine.

Likewise with me sending out useful links back to them. Or better yet, re tweeting great content that I get turned onto. Sounds a bit like I'd be leeching info off others without giving much in return, but I assure you, that is not my intent. I'll do my share.

Like I said in the beginning of this post, if I do go ahead with this plan, it's just an experiment to see if I can more efficiently use my on line time better.

If you already have a Twitter account and want to help with this experiment go here to "follow me" on Twitter and we'll both see how this idea works out.

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