Ellen Perlman was a GOVERNING staff writer and technology columnist.E-mail: email@example.com
I was late to Twitter. Well, relatively. Didn't think I'd like it. Didn't really see the point. Didn't think anyone cared about what I was doing every second of the day. Truth is, nobody does care. (I love how the L.A. Times says critics of Twitter call it a "platform for narcissists.")
But I don't write much about myself. Well, not too much.
And as far as I can tell, when government and professional types use Twitter, most don't tell you what they had for lunch or what happened at their kids' soccer game. They usually throw out a tidbit about something they're working on, or something they learned that's important for their job or something they read recently. It's often interesting and frequently useful, to me.
Quick Twitter explanation here. Basically it's microblogging, as in, teeny tiny blogging, as in using 140 characters to post your thoughts, observations, URL's worth exploring whenever the mood strikes. On the site, users are prompted to answer the question, "What are you doing?" But as I said, the people I follow ignore that question most of the time.
Now I'm hooked on Twitter. And I'm not alone. According to an L.A. Times story, "Twitter has become the communication tool of choice among early adopters and the tech community, a worldwide first alert news medium and a nascent marketing and customer services tool as it has thrust itself into the mainstream."
While I sit at my computer doing work for Governing, I often wonder what people are "talking" about over at Twitter. Happily, I'm not compulsive about it. Yet.
I don't freak if I don't read every post. For example, I was just on vacation in Sarasota and didn't look at it at all. Busy walking the beach and watching live alligators not moving a muscle. (Apparently this is very common.)
Twitter plans to take a big step soon and allow searches of the "tweets," that is, the 140 character posts themselves, on the home page. You used to have to go to a separate search page. Only those of you on Twitter will care about this, but there you have it.
Okay, gotta go. Time to see what tech types are chirping about now.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.