I’m running up on the end of my day, and I don’t think I’ll have enough time to really give this topic the amount of time it deserves, so I’ll bottom line it up front, and then go into more depth until I absolutely have to leave the office and head home: I like Twitter.
I won’t go into the whole history of how this stupid little service became popular. You can find a hundred other blog posts that talk about the birth, death, and re-birth (in terms of popularity) of this little Web 2.0 app. What I will say is that this simple little script is useful for a number of varied reasons, and has an added benefit of stirring a bit of nostalgia for the ol’ Mr. Rizzn here.
Let me explain this.
Twitter is defined as status microblogging, in case your wondering. Essentially, if you’re familiar with MySpace… imagine the bulletins system hooked into your Instant Message client or your SMS system for your phone, with RSS capabilities.
Twitter reminds me of my old Diaryland days… people reading and writing short (although in the case of Twitter, they are limited to 140 characters) blog posts about what they’re doing and feeling, etc. You’re exposed to your closest friends, and instead of being forced to channel your writing into a niche as in traditional blogging (for professional reasons), it’s more stream of consciousness, more real.
That was the beauty of Diaryland. The format was unique, the sub-culture was limited in size, up until the end, and you were able to make and keep friends that were both geographically local to you as well as local to whatever mind-space you tended to inhabit. It tended to sate the voyeuristic nature we all possess.
I was talking to my friend Levontaun about it (one of my old D*land friends). He said:
So yeah, I thought about what you said about missing what Diaryland used to be, people writing short posts about what they are doing and feeling.
I feel the same way about BBSes. My online social life got started on Chrysalis BBS here in Dallas back in the mid 90s. Everyone was local, if you met someone on the computer, odds are that they were NOT from Virginia or South Africa. Talking to people from completely different cultures is great, but chances are that you’re not going to hook up with them without serious effort. On the BBS, we had GTGs almost weekly. I still have many friends I met from there.
Diaryland was kind of the same, as there was a culture of us Dallas people that all became associated with each other. That’s how I met Matt, Louis, Derrick, Amanda, Missy (Lapis) and a host of others. There were people from everywhere else, but not many.
Myspace has changed everything once again. You can browse local, but chances are most people you find are not computer nerdy-type people like us. Most of the people on there are your average computer illiterate assholes or wannabe hood rats.
I miss the old days. Does this make me old?
I definitely miss the BBS days though – never made the connection to Diaryland, but that’s probably one of the things I liked about it.
If there were a way to bottle and repackage that culture, well, it probably would still be un-profitable, but I’d enjoy the heck out of it.
Podcasting is the closest thing I’ve come to recreating that feel, since it’s such a narrow niche (or it was when it started) that it had that tight-knit feel to it where everyone’s more or less on the same bleeding edge page, to mix some metaphors.
I think it may not make us old, but it definitely dates us. In internet years, we’re old farts, though.
Still, and keep in mind I have no stake in Twitter or anything, I think you should check it out. It’s like a low committment/involvement community thing that lacks the MySpace clunkiness. If I was able to populate my Twitter circle with the old crew, I think it might feel a bit like home.