Saturday, May 23, 2009

Twitter: A Modern-Day "Who's on First"

Several months ago, David created a Twitter account for himself, in a flurry of wanting to claim the "djkeddie" handle on all social networking sites. And then he promptly forgot about it.

Yesterday, he decided to revisit this whole Twitter thing, to see what he could make of it. He posted (tweeted? twitted?) his first tweet (twit?), saying something to the effect of "Trying to figure out the appeal of this whole Twitter thing," and then we sat back and watched as other people started following him.

Today, while we were out for a late lunch, he pulled out his phone to check his email, and the following very confusing conversation ensued:
DAVID: Hey, Steph W. just started following me on Twitter!
ME: Cool, how did you find out about that?
DAVID: I just got an email saying that she commented on my update. She said she's trying to answer the same query.
Me: Oh, that's funny!
Me: Wait, so did she send you a private message on Twitter to tell you that?
DAVID: Huh? No, she commented on my update.
Me: Oh, so it's on her Twitter feed? Like, with an "@djkeddie" in front of it?
DAVID: No... It just says, "trying to answer the same query," and then she gave me her Twitter handle.
Me: Wait, I don't understand.
DAVID: I got an email from Twitter saying that she started following me, and then a second email with her comment to me.
Me: Ohhh.... Because her comment to you was directed at you? Is that how Twitter works?
DAVID: No, no, the comment was on my Facebook status update.
Yeah, I'd missed that. David had also posted a very similar status update on his Facebook profile, about his quest to try to understand Twitter. I think he thought that since I'm the Facebook maven in the family, I would have known everything he did on his profile...

I don't know, maybe it's one of those "you had to be there" moments, but by the end of this twisty and turny conversation, we were both collapsing with laughter. Having too many means of internet-based social networking can be really confusing.

And the jury's still out on whether Twitter is worthwhile...