Wednesday, January 21, 2009

To Twitter, or not to Twitter? And THAT inauguration

Do you use Twitter? I bet anyone reading this would know that it's THE micro-blogging service. What's more, it forces you to read what other people write rather than putting it off to another day.

I only follow 60 people. 72 poor souls have opted to follow me. Twitter cognoscenti aim for thousands of followers, which rather makes me think they're following the 'stack it high and sell it low' principle. Establishing a global reputation as an expert of sorts.

The online marketers are the worst. Floods of tweets hog the timeline, often with @ responses to people who I don't know and don't know what question they asked and probably wouldn't want to know anyway.

I hate the hashtags and text-type language. If it were about usability and accessibility, some twitterers would fail immediately. The main protagonists are trying to build their own corporate profiles so that they can convince companies that they are the Twitter 'experts.' I wonder how much money I could charge per day to show other people how to use Twitter for marketing?

But then there are many positive benefits to being a Twitterer. I get some very good tips simply by following people who link to new information resources and techniques. I've also been following a friend of my son who is travelling the States and was in D.C. for President Obama's inauguration. I asked him to bring me an inauguration souvenir.

Just this morning, Karen Blakeman twittered about a Wordle analysing the words used in Obama's inauguration speech.

I'd love to reproduce it here, but Blogger won't let me insert the code. Here's the link to Wordle: Obama Inauguration Speech.

What's a Wordle? An online graphical representation of the emphasis given to words on a web page. It's useful for keyword discovery.

And if you'd like to watch the speech all over again and read the transcript, then this BBC page preserves the inauguration for posterity. There's even a glimpse of the Wordle!

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