This morning I got a happy sixth birthday wish on Twitter. I forgot that I joined on January 1, 2007. At the time I had heard of Twitter from Thomas Hawk but did not understand how it worked or the potential it had. Here I am six years later and have more than 27,000 tweets and I find myself using it more than any other social network. I joined Facebook in September 2006 but I don’t use it as much as I do Twitter. The interesting thing is that I still run into people that don’t understand Twitter. That is unfortunate because they are trying to compare it to Facebook when they are two completely different places with completely different missions. I use Twitter more as a news source than a sharing with family place. Once you master the ability to use hashtags and search terms, you can find anything. I’ve found that it works wonders in keeping up with our ever changing Oklahoma weather by simply following hashtag #okwx. You can follow any TV show you want simply by searching for the program. For example, if you are into American Idol (vomit), you can search for #idol and follow people’s responses in real time even if you don’t know these people.
Twitter works great for ham radio as well as most people use the hashtags #hamr or #hamradio. If you have the stomach for politics, there are infinite posts on that subject but I have to say that politics gets old fast. No matter what stand you take, there are always those that disagree with you. I would offer the advice that unless you have thick skin and love being angry all the time, avoid politics on any social network. With that, Google+ has an amazing potential to take Twitter’s place some day because it offers some of the same features and has the same culture. While Google+ has not taken the market share that Twitter has so far, it also has hashtag search capability. It also has a culture where total strangers post stories to the public rather to individual friends and family. Google+ is only a year old so they are still growing and will eventually take a huge market share. I was a member of Facebook for three years before I could get anyone to join them. All of my contacts insisted on staying with Myspace at the time.
With this new sixth birthday on Twitter, I have a lot more knowledge on its mission than I did in the beginning. I appreciate them more now than I did in 2007 when I signed up. Twitter is incredible when it comes to staying on top of issues. I’ve found that you can find out why the traffic is stopped simply by searching for it. Without fail, there is someone at the front of the line posting on Twitter about what is going on. If I had to choose which social networking site I would keep, if I were only able to keep one, it would be Twitter.