So this week I received this out of the blue on Twitter;
(@TwBirthday) July 04, 2012
To be honest its a bit of a sham – like alot of people I signed up without really much of a clue about the service back then and after sending the standard first tweet..
Matt Jukes (@jukesie) July 05, 2007
..I followed a few people and really just watched it for a few months without really grasping it and it wasn’t until a couple of months later that the addiction kicked in. It wasn’t until December that year that I really started to get the hang of things.
The first person I ever followed was Tara Hunt (@missrouge). At the time her writing influenced alot of my thinking – things like ‘whuffie‘, ‘pinko marketing’ and ‘barcamps’ sounded weird even for those web 2.0 times – she also introduced me to the idea of ‘co-working’. Alot of that stuff has stayed with me over the years but I haven’t actually followed Tara since 2009 now I think. Initially I followed quite a few of the great & good from Silicon Valley but I soon became tired of the ‘web celeb’ thing and try to avoid it as much as possible.
The person I have followed longest is Andy Powell (@andypowe11). I think Andy may even have still been at UKOLN just about at that time but he soon moved to Eduserv. I’ve met Andy quite few times over the years but am pretty sure Twitter was the first place we ‘spoke’.
Blogging and Twitter helped me get my job at Jiva, gave me the opportunity to do amazing things like travel to Barca to blog about Mozilla and introduced me to more brilliant people than I could mention. Professionally it has become an invaluable community but also for the 1st time I met people who shared my tastes in TV, comics, movies and music *and* people who I could talk rugby and lower league football with.
Twitter made me *much* more politically aware – although weirdly maybe hasn’t changed my politics. The majority of those I engage with regularly on Twitter are considerably further to the left than I but their passion has often been inspiring if occasionally bemusing!
I’ve watched with admiration while Twitter has been used as a tool to make real changes in the world, watched its role in breaking news get misreported time and again, got that feeling like when a band suddenly becomes famous and the cool kids desert them when Stephen Fry popularised Twitter in this country (and changed it forever) and seen the tabloid media slaughter hard working people just because they were easy targets. Throughout all the Premierships footballers, pitch-fork wielding mobs and hashtag hijacks I’ve still enjoyed knowing that it was there and making my own inane contributions.
Unlike alot of my peers I never thought like this
The mistake we all made with Twitter, me too, was to think a corporate API could act like an open protocol.—
Dave Winer ☮ (@davewiner) July 01, 2012
I always thought of Twitter as a product someone owned and sooner or later there would be a price to pay and at that point I’d have to decide whether it was worth paying [if not with cash then with other ...intrusions]. It does seem that there is every chance that might come to a head soon.
So given my relatively well documented inability to stick at anything (well mainly jobs!) five years is a pretty major achievement so ‘cheers!’..