A Locally Grown Twitter for Northfielders

twitter

What is twitter?

Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?

Like my colleague Michael Fraase, I tried Twitter a few times when it was first introduced but it didn’t ‘take hold’ for me.

But after reading Howard Rheingold’s reasons for why he’s hooked on Twitter, I’m ready to give it another try, only with a local, Northfield twist. I plan to focus my Twitter posts on Northfield-related ‘stuff’ – my whereabouts in town, as well as miscellaneous other Northfield-related musings. I’d like to ‘follow’ (that’s a Twitter term) other Northfield-area citizens doing likewise with their Twitter accounts.

I’ve got my cell phone and Google Talk (IM) account hooked up to my Twitter account so that I can send and receive messages with both.

I’ve added the above Twitter badge to our LoGroNo sidebar (about halfway down the page, right after the comments section).

twitter-group-sshot

I’ll consider switching that badge to one like this (the above image is recent screenshot, not a live view) that tracks all the people I’m following who’ve likewise committed to focusing their Twitter posts on Northfield-related activities. So join me, will ya?

12 Comments

  1. I dunno if I qualify as a Northfield-centric Twitterer, but I am pretty well addicted to the service, in case Griff or anyone out there wants to follow me:
    http://twitter.com/tassava

    I’d be very interested in following other Northfielders.

    March 12, 2008
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  2. Griff Wigley said:

    Thanks, Christopher… I’m following you and a few other Northfielders. Now get yourself a Gravatar!

    March 12, 2008
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  3. Griff Wigley said:

    My UK colleague Shane McCracken and I were IM’ing about Twitter this morning.

    He said he “was still not sure about the value of it… people are using it instead of IM and it is irritating.”

    I told him that I turn off the alerts for those folks so I don’t get cell phone alerts. I’m currently interested in using Twitter just for geographic/civic purposes here in Northfield. I see its potential as a real-time community blogging tool, only via text messaging and IM.

    March 18, 2008
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  4. Paul Fried said:

    Video-based version: Walk around with a digital camera on your head. Instead of “Twitter,” call it “Darth Vide(oe)r.” Or “MPGer.” Easier than having to report all the time. But would you have to wear a t-shirt or sandwich board that reads, “Ask me for a legal release form regarding the video you’re in right now”?

    Isn’t the eventual goal of free services like that to morph into something like Facebook, where they can track your interests and generate data for targetted ads? (Is that, whether we know it or not, what happens even with free blogs that don’t show ads? Ad companies could track ad-free blogs fairly easily, couldn’t they? No one is preventing their access….)

    March 18, 2008
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  5. Tracy Davis said:

    Well, I reluctantly jumped on the Twitter bandwagon recently so Griff put me on the badge in the sidebar.

    We were joking this morning that if we can’t develop an interesting way to develop and integrate this technology into real life, it’ll continue to look like Griff and I are self-absorbed little geeks who thinks the world really wants to know exactly what we’re doing at any given moment.

    April 15, 2008
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  6. Paul Fried said:

    Make it easy: Have a GPS chip implanted, with a link to a personal website.

    Then parents could know where their children are at night, door-to-door salesmen and telemarketers would know when we’re home, criminals could rob our homes while we are safely away, and Homeland Security could track our movements.

    Pay for it all through ad revenue. Reduce our taxes, build the cost into everything we buy that has an ad budget.

    Instead of “Twitter,” just call it “Big Brother” or Big Sister.”

    April 15, 2008
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  7. Holly Cairns said:

    No need for the implant or for twitter, for that matter– just carry your moblie phone, and voila! We can know where you are at all times.

    Twitter seems to have its benefits, and its negatives. I could never remember to enter in information…

    April 15, 2008
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  8. Griff Wigley said:

    I’ve temporarily removed the Twitter sidebar badge, as it’s now been hijacked by others I’m not following.

    June 8, 2008
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  9. Griff Wigley said:

    The ‘Twitter with friends’ badge is broken, to be fixed soon, according to their tech support blog. I’ve replaced it with the “follow me” badge. (See the lower right sidebar. Too bad for you, Tracy.)

    Of course, you don’t need to check the badge to follow the ‘Tweets” from me or Tracy. Just subscribe to our individual Twitter accounts and have our alerts sent to you via your cell phone or instant message or (ugh) email.

    June 9, 2008
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  10. Griff Wigley said:

    The ‘Twitter with friends’ badge is still broken but since Bonnie has now joined me and Tracy in using Twitter, I’ve put our 3 separate Twitter badges on the lower right sidebar. Here’s a screenshot:

    July 16, 2008
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  11. Griff Wigley said:

    Here’s a video/screencast that explains Twitter better than I’ve done. It was created by a colleague, Lee Lefever at Common Craft.

    July 30, 2008
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