Yes, if you haven’t already noticed the catchy new widget below my Facebook icon on the right — I have indeed succumbed to Twitter. Technically we’re called “tweeters.” For those who are not familiar, Twitter is a micro-blogging/social-networking site that uses both RSS and SMS text feeds to share information. Twitter posts are limited to 140 characters but can include links, pictures, etc….
Basically, you create an account and you “follow” people. Whatever they post you can read either online or as text messages on your phone. Twitter is a more “open” community than, say, Facebook — in that you usually don’t need anybody’s permission to follow them and it is kind of customary to follow back anyone who follows you (at least until they bore or offend you). You can use Twitter to simply keep tabs on friends and family, for activism, for news, I haven’t found many limits yet.
I love that I can follow my favorite blogs on my iPod Touch, that I can conveniently keep in my pocket and check whenever I have a spare moment, wherever I am (provided there is WiFi access). I haven’t found myself too constricted by the 140-character limit either, frankly I don’t have much time these days to complete thoughts much longer than 140-characters. Needless to say, I’m hooked…addicted really (Tammy is so thrilled.)
I’ve been using Twitter the last week or so to publicize that May is Prader-Willi Syndrome Awareness Month. Twitter hyperlinks any term with a hashtag preceeding it and clicking that link will take you to a page where you can read every post on that topic, in real time, by any person who is tweeting that hashtag — regardless of whether you follow them or not. The hashtag system is a great way of networking and spreading your message within like-minded communities. So I’ve been tweeting #Prader-Willi and #specialneeds items and tonight I figured out how to feed this blog and some of my favorite Prader-Willi blogs into Twitter as well. I’ve found a couple of other Prader-Willi tweeters but so far I’m the only one doing it in an organized manner. It probably won’t change the world, but it gave me something to do for about an hour tonight.
So anyway, if all of the above were complete gibberish to you don’t feel bad — they were to me just a few weeks ago…it’s a brave, new world out there folks. But if you’re curious, interested, or already tweeting — check me out @jenrink.