Friendships and twitter

By richard | 6 September 2007

As I left the University halls for the last time so it signalled the beginning of a new era in my life. No longer would I go to the student bar or the editing suites to chat with friends and see what they were doing. Now it was time to move to another part of London where new friendships would be made.  Some of these friendships would be helped along by twitter. It’s like a chat room you can take with you anywhere.

At first this is a daunting chatroom. You see updates from thousands of people telling you of their latest thoughts and what they’re doing. It’s a blur and it’s hard to stick out. Over time, as you grow more familiar with the twitterverse so it becomes easier to understand. You see people living in your area so you add them and start following what they do. They add you and they know what you’re doing. Over time you get to know their daily habits, when they tend to start their day, how they organise their time and more. As a result of this it creates a feeling of communal living. That’s when you take it to the next step.

For me that next step was the twitter meetup. My experience was the following. Two people I had previously met, and many I had never met, met up in a restaurant for food and drinks and to talk about subjects they enjoy. As they did so it created a new sense of what twitter was about. It’s a technology that lets you get to know those on the other screen better than you would through traditional postings, comments and more. It’s alive and current rather than static and passive.

Twitter went even further to being an interesting technology at the Podcamp UK because at this event I got to know at least five or six more twitter users and added them to those I am following. As a result twitter is a link between a group of people interested in related industries and conversations. As a result of this there is a new level of community that forms via the medium of text. In effect conversations are taking place between people who are not in the same part of the world.

Funnily enough we are in the same part of the world, as you’d see from my “following” list on twitter. It’s a tool, an enhancement like many others that enables communities which are spread out, in nature, to communicate instantly as if across a garden fence or on their daily walk. It’s a great tool which, in this age, is essential to make people feel more involved.  We’ll see how it progresses from here.

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