December 9, 2008 - 5:00 AM
When a colleague first told me about Twitter, Twitter, I didn't understand what all the fuss was about.
Maybe it was the name that threw me off. Or the precious term used for a Twitter message: a "tweet."
I wasn't alone in dismissing the value of a service that lets people send updates on their life to their entire circle of friends, business associates and acquaintances at once.
The Boston Globe's Alex Beam sniffed at the idea in an August column headlined, "Twittering with excitement? Hardly."
But, in the words of Bobby Darin, I'm beginning to see the light.
As I report in today's Buffalo News story, Twitter isn't just for the self-indulgent, for people who have no unexpressed thoughts or for those who feel the need to keep the world informed of every minor event in their life.
Big businesses and small businesses alike are getting onto Twitter, in hopes of using the social-networking site to reach potential customers and clients.
And just about every major news organization has some sort of presence on Twitter to get immediate news flashes to readers.
The mobility and accessibility of Twitter -- updates can be sent and received via cell phone -- is part of its appeal.
Locally, tech-savvy residents are using it advertise events, seek information and promote their businesses.
Heck, the entire Punaro clan is on Twitter: Dad Derek, Mom Amanda and 2-month-old Ariella. (Ariella types suspiciously well for her age, and perhaps has help from her parents.)
Even the Boston Globe has come around. They have Twitter accounts that send out updates on the Red Sox and Patriots to their followers.
I'd like to hear what you think of Twitter. Do you use it? How do you use it? Do you agree with Mr. Beam that it's overrated, or do you find practical applications?
And if you're still not sure exactly how Twitter works, watch this Common Craft video for a good, basic understanding of the site.
- Stephen T. Watson