The Twitter Effect

posted on 03/31/08 at 11:09:10 pm by Joel Ross

If you've noticed a slowing of posts here, there's a reason for that: Twitter. Instead of posting short posts here about something I find interesting, I usually throw that on Twitter. Questions I need an answer to? Twitter is real time and so far, has brought great answers much faster than a blog post does - as an example, I posted a blog post the other night and was shocked to see a comment just seven minutes after the original post. On twitter, if you go seven minutes without a response, you're probably not going to get one - and most of the time, you've already gotten two or three responses.

So I've left my daily blogging habits behind and jumped into the micro-blogging scene whole heartedly. Where does that leave Well, for the most part, my posts will have more answers than questions and will be longer and more in-depth then they have been. Of course, that means they take longer to write and more effort to create. Or simply put, I post less!

Does that mean I think this site is going to die over time? On the contrary - since I started using Twitter heavily, I feel like the blog has come alive. The number of comments has gone way up, and I feel much more connected than I ever have. Since I started this blog in 2004, I've had 390 comments. Since October of '07, I've had 140 comments - a full 35% of my comments coming in the last 6 months of a 4 year run. Right now, as I'm writing this, my home page has 10 posts on it, and there are 59 comments. So less than 0.1% of my posts (I'm well over 1,000) has 15% of the comments. And when I look at where the comments come from, most are either people I follow on Twitter or my responses to them.

To me, that's "The Twitter Effect." Since I started using Twitter, I feel I'm much more in touch with the community of developers in Michigan and the Midwest. I've made some great connections with people that I think will last for a long time, and the more and more I get into Twitter, the more great people I meet.

I remember going to Tech Ed in 2005. It was a real eye opening experience for me. I had read a lot of blogs, and it was the first time I had a chance to actually meet some of them in person. I met a few people there that I'm still friends with, and I quickly realized that conferences were more about who you met than the content available. Well, so far, Twitter has been that same thing - only magnified. I've interacted with some bloggers that I've respected for a long time on Twitter, and I've had my eyes opened to people I didn't know but probably should have.

Anyway, if you're not on Twitter, you should give it a try. Start by following me. Then look at who I follow and go from there. You'll probably start to recognize names. And if you do give it a go, let me know - I've started to be more and more picky about who I follow to avoid overload, but if you're a reader here, I definitely want to follow you!

Categories: General, Personal