I joined up with Twitter several months ago, and have essentially never used it. I see that I am not alone in considering its stated rationale kind of pointless. Do any of my friends actually care what I am up to moment-by-moment? If anything I already have a (less fine-grained) system for that, in my google chat status message, which I populate with all sorts of things as my mood strikes me. And I know I have a lot more (vetted) friends on Google than I will ever recruit on Twitter.

(as an aside, a javascript badge to display your Google Chat status on your web site would be mondo cool.)

I am however impressed by Twitter’s technical backend; essentially a device-agnostic messaging system, that lets you essentially blog via IM, cell phone text, or web interface (provided each “post” is only 140 characters long). This suggests that Twitter could be thought less of a social tool and more of a general one that can be easily re-purposed, for example as performance art. I’ve decided to hijack Twitter myself, to use it akin to the old UNIX fortune command, only mine will be populated by great song lyric lines.

If you look on the sidebar, you’ll see a new section called Lyrical; that’s powered by javascript (which I had to hack the code a bit from their example). I wanted something unobtrusive and easily integrated. Now, whenever I get the urge to preserve a great lyric, I can just IM it or cell text it to my Twitter account and it will automatically update on my blog sidebar. This is really kind of impressive if you think about it. At any rate, it’s a cool toy and until I find something even more interesting to use it for, I shall enjoy the freedom of music, one line at a time.

UPDATE: Removed it from my sidebar. Took way too long for the javascript to update, it was slowing down the whole page load. I might add it as an RSS feed module instead.

Begin the day
With a friendly voice
A companion, unobtrusive
Plays that song thats so elusive
And the magic music makes your morning mood

Off on your way
Hit the open road
There is magic at your fingers
For the spirit ever lingers
Undemanding contact
In your happy solitude

Invisible airwaves
Crackle with life
Bright antennae bristle
With the energy
Emotional feedback
On a timeless wavelength
Bearing a gift beyond price —
Almost free…

Rush, The Spirit of Music (lyrics)

One thought on “Twitter”

  1. I think you say what I was getting at in a much better, more concise way. The most interesting thing about Twitter is the “device-agnostic messaging system” that you can update anywhere.

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