This blog update coincides with the 10,000th tweet I've posted to Twitter. In truth, that's just what my current tweet count displays. Since joining the service in March 2007, shortly after Twitter won a SXSW Web Award, I've probably deleted a few hundred tweets. I've also had a hand in operating some other accounts (corporate and personal). Therefore, I suppose my true total tweet count is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 15,000.
As noted above, I was an early adopter of Twitter. However, I didn't really use my account much until the winter of 2008. My usage increased as tech luminaries like Leo Laporte, Robert Scoble and Kevin Rose (long before he became a Jason Calacanis clone) began using the service more frequently. They spearheaded a movement in the tech crowd that embraced the service, making it more interesting and useful. This was the golden era of Twitter (despite consistent outages). At the time, the top Twitter users had approximately 30,000 followers and there were no major celebrities on the service. Twitter was filled with geeks and hadn't crossed over into mainstream awareness. I guess what I'm saying is I was into the band before it became popular. ;)
I could see Twitter's potential for good even in the pre-Oprah era; becoming a tool used by people to rally around worthy causes. Eventually, charity Tweetups spawned all around the world, raising millions of dollars. In 2008, a Twitter post helped an imprisoned man in Egypt avoid prosecution. Perhaps this was foreshadowing the recent events in Egypt?
Twitter has even eclipsed main stream (or old stream™) media outlets for providing timely news updates about world and local events.
On a personal level, Twitter has had a hugely positive impact on my life. I've met countless creatively brilliant people through my participation on the service. It has been a constant source of education and inspiration.
Now, about those 10,000 tweets. Despite that total having mostly accumulated since February 2008, it's still a lot of status updates. I'm a very conversational kind of person; I like to interact and engage with who I follow and with my followers. However, I make a real effort to limit meaningless one-way tweets about the minutia in my life (though there are some examples). Even when I choose to have my Foursquare check-ins forward to Twitter, I try to give them some value.
Unfortunately, some Twitter users just can't help themselves and have upwards of 20,000 tweets. Some users/abusers even have double or triple that total, yet have only been on the service for a year or two! On a daily basis, they turn a valuable communications medium into Twitter Vomit™. My overall thought is that if you have more tweets than me, your talent and the entertainment value of your tweets had better make up for it! Though rare, this combination can be found in some Twitter users.
In all honesty, this is my only real gripe with Twitter. I won't name names, but I've started unfollowing the mega-tweeters. As they say, if you don't like the channel, change it. However, I'm still a big fan of the service the channel is on.
I can be found on Twitter under the username motionblur. Feel free to follow me and be inundated by my 10,001st tweet. ;)
Twitter Pack image courtesy of Carrot Creative.