Maybe it isn't enough to denounce silly sniping at Twitter - as I did in the previous post - without making a case for why bother exchanging 140 characters with some friends and many more people I've never met.
How about because:
- You can use Twitter to reinforce the legitimate personal need to provide value through your comments, links, humor and polemic . . . I do.
- Twitter, as Andrew Keen said last Friday at a panel discussion with Clay Shirky, is pure, by which I think he means it is direct and surprisingly transparent.
- Twitter posts expose personality, your own and that of others, better than dinner party conversation. You learn a lot about people by what they contribute and how they participate.
- Twitter has some many political and social uses as evidenced by last June's elections in Iran. Jim Gilliam, creator of the Twitter petition tool called act.ly says his 'tweet change' tool makes it possible 'for anyone to pounce on an opportunity, no matter how small, without the run-up and vetting and committee meetings that traditional advocacy groups might have to churn through before they act.'
- It can be, says web strategist Jermiah Oywang, a shared feed reader, chat room, listening tool, traffic driving tool, and note space.
- People direct me to great stories, edgy ideas and very occasionally products (usually wine) that I would not find otherwise.
In other words, assuming you choose the right people to follow (and by "right" I mean those who you want as part of a community of interest) Twitter helps build fruitful, lively, and perspicacious reciprocal relationships.
If you have an extra six minutes, watch this video about why others like Twitter.