Pia Warne has been distracting me from blogging recently. She was born a bit more than a week ago.
But tweeting has also distracted me. Twitter is a micro-blogging platform. I had never been there until just before I started tweeting: here is my Twitter page. Twitter involves following and being followed. I tweet a short message of up to 140 characters and those 32 individuals who follow me get each message posted in their timeline, along with tweets from everyone else they follow. If anyone they follow retweets one of my tweets, then they get it too. Similarly, a chronological amalgam of the tweets of those I follow appears in my timeline, along with any tweets of others that have been retweeted by those I follow.
I like Alain de Botton’s haiku like ruminations. For example, 5 November:
‘So different are their life experiences, beautiful women and ugly men might as well be classed as different species.’
The Dalai Lama (who says he is retiring from politics to concentrate on spiritual teaching) and Mr De Botton have similar and unusual tweet style. More often, tweeters I bother to read provide a link to a webpage with a bit of a clue about what it is. For example, from The Guardian’s law section:
‘I accused my husband of rape. I was locked up – and he was set free’ http://bit.ly/eTpqHi.’
Funny URLs proliferate in Twitter. Why? They are shortened by web machines designed specifically to do so, in order to allow them to be included in 140 character messages.
I like it because it allows me to tell you about things which I don’t have the time, or the inclination to blog about, but give you a hyperlink to follow should you wish. This list of tweets also serves as a notional to do list. For those of you, dear readers, who actually read my blog by going to the web page on which it is published, I have added a box in the sidebar which scrolls through my latest tweets. The tweets will not be quite as ‘on message’ as those in the blog. So, for example, I celebrated the news that Fitzroy’s Lambs Go Bar’s crew has taken a long lease on Fitzroy’s Rainbow Hotel. But I will also tweet on matters of interest to me outside the scope of the blog — civil procedure in general, evidence, class actions, shareholder claims, etc. And I will retweet others’ blog posts on issues which are directly relevant to the blog more often than I would link to them in my own posts. So I will bring you the best of others’ writing from the web on the subject matter of the blog.
I also like Twitter because it allows me to follow a whole lot of websites which have associated twitter accounts, rather than going to the sites themselves. I used to do this with a feed reader, but my interest waned. If you are one of the nearly 500 readers who subscribe to my blog either through the email subscription option, or by RSS feed, you might want to follow me on twitter; otherwise when you consume my blog through email or in your feed reader, you will miss out on all that I tweet. Signing up in order to follow takes no time at all.