Twitter-pated [VIDEO]

Feb 252009
Authors: Glen Pfeiffer, Ryan Gibbons

The Internet is in love with Twitter. Just like “Slumdog Millionaire” was the darling of the Academy this year, everyone is fussing over Twitter in the social-networking community. Even if you hate it, it’s still the talk of the town./

Most of the talking heads in the tech community have weighed in with their thoughts — yay or nay — on Twitter, and most have come to the same conclusion. Yes, Twitter is a great time-waster whether or not you love or hate it, but no, that doesn’t mean we should condemn it as worthless.

Now it’s come to our attention that at least one person on campus has not heard of Twitter, and that means that we are not doing our job well. This is a popular technology column, and nothing is hotter than Twitter right now. To some, the concept is old news, but it’s potential is still being unlocked.

If you know what Twitter is, skip the next few lines, or read RamTalk and then come back and join us in a minute. Think of Twitter as Facebook, but only consisting of status updates. It’s like keeping a blog, but only 140 characters (maximum) at a time, and much, much more often. Sounds pointless right?

The most common criticism of Twitter users is that “No one actually wants to know what you’re doing that often, no one cares that much about your life.” This may be true for the vast majority of people – but let’s face it, there are interesting people that we are kind of curious to follow in their daily activities (we read the multi-daily tweets of Lance Armstrong). But there are more interesting uses.

For those twitterers who have a lot of followers, interesting opportunities arise. An anecdote given to us by our New York Times counterpart David Pogue recounted a scene in which he was speaking about Twitter at a conference in Las Vegas. He told the audience that if he tweeted “I need a cure for hiccups,” he would get responses within 15 seconds.

“It didn’t even take that long,” Pogue said.

Now take that and apply it to answering a useful question. All of a sudden, possibilities are opening up for Twitter…//

Having a Twitter account will keep you more than up to date with your friends, but to really discover it’s full potential we’d suggest downloading a copy of Twhirl (or another Twitter feed application) to your computer at This handy application will keep a window on your desktop with a real-time feed of the tweets of people you are following (almost like IM)./

For those of you with an iPhone or/Android there are quite a few apps out there for you to stay connected. If you’re still working on one of those Razrs from the/stone-age, no worries, you can setup your Twitter account to send/receive/text message updates./

As a final experiment for you if you are now choosing to set up a Twitter account, look us up on Twitter; our account name is binaryboys. Click “follow” to get updates on the latest breaking news in technology.

It will be more fun to reach columnists Glen Pfeiffer and Ryan Gibbons on Twitter than through email at

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