Twitter’s Fifth Birthday

March 24, 2011

This past Monday, social media/microblogging outlet Twitter turned five. Co-founded by Biz Stone and Jack Dorsey, Twitter now has an estimated 190 million users and its estimated value is $10 million. Truth be told, I once did a search on my blog and found that its estimated value was listed for anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000. When I saw that dollar amount, I had a good laugh. What factors went into that valuation, I wondered. Nobody ever talked to me about my traffic or my Google Analytics report.

Regardless of how the market values Twitter, I value Twitter. A lot. Yes, I enjoy blogging and its ability to provide great content and to challenge me in new ways as a writer. I also enjoy learning and interacting on others’ blogs.

But Twitter is a new and interesting beast – 140 characters forces all of us to do something that blogs cannot force us to do – get to the point. I enjoy how Twitter allows us to list and to interact in real time with anyone and anything we find interesting.

In nearly two years that I’ve been on Twitter, I have some good memories: getting to know and appreciate the ultra-passionate wine connoisseur/social media evangelist @garyvee, reading and laughing with @JaySchryer and his lyrical Tweets, reading @JaneBeNimble’s awesome micropoetry, learning about the numerous networking events in and around Chicago and so much more. Twitter has also given Roger Ebert (@ebertchicago) a prominent writing voice.

Unfortunately, Twitter has also informed me of some unfortunate events: The passing of Michael Jackson, Corey Haim and Barbara Billingsly; unrest in Iran, the oil spill in the Gulf and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Twitter is changing the way I receive my news and learn about different happenings in my neighborhood and around the world. It’s also opening my eyes to new possibilities and connections.

In future posts, I hope to share with you some ways that people are using Twitter to change the world. The more I learn, the more I am amazed at Twitter’s possibilities. No, Twitter does not replace face to face or water cooler conversations, but Twitter is a tool that, when used for the greater good, can make the world a better place.

In the meantime, here’s a great interview with Twitter co-founder Biz Stone on NPR’s Fresh Air.

So how about you…how do you feel about Twitter? I’d love your input…

1 Lori March 24, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Hi Tim,
This is a great post. I agree on so many levels. I entered Twitter about the same time you did (I think?) and I went from thinking, “What the heck is Twitter, a place where people talk about what they ate for breakfast?” (lol) to learning up-to-the minute news, often by people who are at the scene and calling out errors/falsehoods by MSN, MSNBC, NBC, etc. , and other topics of which you detailed here.

I have a new-found respect for Twitter and it’s capabilities this year especially. As you so graciously featured me here, I love the community and also feedback from followers regarding my poetry — or not, the silence is sometimes the most valuable insight. (hehe)

Thanks, truly, for a great post. I’ve enjoyed following you there as well. Where else can I learn about household furniture used to hold shoveled parking spaces in Chicago? 😉

Thanks again for this great post, and for your shout out as well. I agree with all.
Have a great weekend, Tim.
~xo

2 Tim March 25, 2011 at 10:37 am

Hi Lori: I know what you mean…when I first started on Twitter, in some ways it seemed like a foreign language. And I know there are plenty of people using Twitter in ways that I’m not fond of (e.g. spam, Tweets about how many followers they have, endless self-promotional Tweets about their products/services, etc.). But I’ve been learning about some amazing ways people and organizations use Twitter. Thank you for using Twitter creatively…your poems are inspirational and entertaining – and for me a joy to read. And it has been fun touching base, instant message-style, with you. By the way, I recently discovered former pro basketball player Bill Walton’s Twitter feed (@BillWalton) and I’ve been amazed at his ability to create a sort of poetic commentary about various basketball games that are on national TV. Check out his Tweets about some of the NCAA Tournament games that took place last night.

Anyhow, I digress — thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts here, my friend. Keep up the great work and have a great weekend!

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