TwitterThe classic post about twitter starts with something along the lines of 30% of folks who try Twitter simply don’t get what its all about. There are also various posts on novel uses and Twitter etiquette. Twitter is a mini-blog, a glorified chat-room, a TXT tool and many other things, but I believe its most important description is that of group consciousness.

Once you use Twitter for a little while you begin to get to know people in a way that accelerates relationships. Within a group of twitterers you become part of a larger ongoing conversation and an observer of many smaller ones. It is in these smaller conversations that you learn little tidbits about new and old friends. You may not be actively participating in the conversation but you are allowed to see into it in such a way that provides the intimacy of having actually participated.

The wonderful thing is that real world gatherings become a continuation of the conversation, as if you all had been sitting around the table together for the past few days or weeks. When the crowd is larger I sometimes find myself quietly observing and just soaking up the dialog, injecting occasionally, just like I would on Twitter. The whole group is “in” on everything. The group interacts in a way that is really unique to a large group. Everyone has an understanding of everyone else on a level that is just a bit deeper than only normal conversation provides. Each person has had numerous conversations with everyone else, whether they realize it or not. There are all types of personalties, but from my view and interactions I haven’t seen too many personality clashes. Everyone not just gets along, but really seems to feed off of each other as we have learned along the way what each has to offer and what the best way is to interact on an individual level.

I do loosely follow a rule about who I follow or allow to follow my tweets. Generally, I have to have had some real world interaction with the person. Of course there are exceptions, I will include folks who know others I follow. I have a bit of disdain for people who insist on following thousands of people. I really wonder what it is they are up to as it would appear impossible to follow any sort of thread at all. Then again, that is just my view. I am sure they have their reasons.

The point is that Twitter is not limited to my uses. It is a simple flexible tool that has the potential to reach a little deeper than it appears on the surface. How do you use Twitter? What do you get out of it? I’d love to read your comments.

@scottsweep