Three Years of my Twitter Life

On the 13th of August this year, my twitter account celebrated its third anniversary. I joined Twitter when it was in its nascent stages in 2007. I had heard about the site where you can share stuff regarding What you were doing at a particular time. I thought of checking it out and registered myself with the handle alagappan_nitt. At first I didn’t fully understand the need for sharing my current status with strangers. And I didn’t have any followers or any interesting people to follow. I tweeted once and disappeared. I never used it for another 8 months or so.

Any social network starts becoming interesting and useful only after it has gained a significant user base.  And twitter started gaining traction in 2008. A few of college buddies like @a4arvind and @sathyaphoenix joined twitter. Even in 2008 I just used the site for chatting with my friends about random stuff. It was like a substitute for IM clients. But I felt the features like tagging someone using @ very useful in linking to others’  profiles. I felt it could also be pretty useful for sending info to a group of friends. But the harder part was convincing friends to join twitter. I tried a bit but failed badly. Still I occasionally used twitter for updating my status during vacation and other holidays.

Around mid-2009, Twitter started becoming more interesting due to its explosive growth. It got a lot of media coverage and a lot of celebrities started using the service. And hence general public too started adopting it. A lot of my college buddies too started using it. Eventually I migrated from the old handle to the present one that is @_alagappan. Then I got the opportunity to interact with interesting people and follow them. I started using the service more often. Though I sticked to the web interface most of the time I also experimented with a few twitter clients.

Gradually twitter was being used for different purposes than what it was originally intended for. It began to be used a major real-time news source. As a influential PR/Marketing tool. As a tool to track events. As a major knowledge source. As a way to stay connected with friends 24×7. As a tool for fun. It was so overwhelming that Twitter changed its standard question from ‘What are you doing?’ to ‘What’s Happening?’.

In the month of June in 2009 I attended Twitter Unconference in Chennai –Buzz140. It has some interesting presentations on what twitter could be used for etc etc. It was wonderfully hosted by Kiruba and Co. I got hooked to the service ever since. I have been tweeting regularly and have connected with quite a few people.

As far as the interface used is concerned I have been using the web interface predominantly. I find it simple and easy to use. Apart from that I use/used a number of services like Echofon, TweetDeck, HootSuite, SMSTweets, TwitterSMS etc. Twitter through SMS is one feature that I guess is the most useful.

As I was writing this post I found a site called MyTweet16 where you can get your first 16 tweets. It was nostalgic. My first tweet was about Orkut. Orkut is now dead for me.

Though I am still a small user with a small following, I guess I am more connected with the internet than ever before. I guess just existing on a service is not a big achievement. There is a long way to go for me to extract the maximum out of twitter.

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