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5 April 2010

Twitter’s a Big Boy Now!

Last month Twitter turned 4 years old! Yep, that’s right-4 whole years. Our baby is growing up fast. I have no idea why Twitter is a boy in my mind, or why I feel an oddly maternal instinct, but I do.

Perhaps it is because Twitter has become a part of my life. It runs in the background on my computer screen each day for hours, Tweetdeck pop ups interrupt my concentration every minute or so, Twextme text messages notify me whenever someone mentions me in a Tweet. and my email inbox contains emails notifying me of new followers seemingly every time I look at it. The reality is Twitter has managed to intertwine himself into my day to day routine when just four years ago he didn’t even exist.  Amazing.

And I’m not alone. Twitter is averaging over 50 million Tweets per day and last summer the word “Twitter” was entered into the Collins English Dictionary. Not bad for a toddler.

Do you remember your first Tweet? Remember that mixture of excitement and fear. Will I look silly? Who cares? What am I doing?

What about the first time someone retweeted you or mentioned you in a Tweet? Did you let out a little squeal of joy?

For me, Twitter has become a communication vehicle. I engage, build and maintain relationships every day in 140 characters. I would rather get a DM (direct message) on Twitter from you then an email. I would rather send you a DM then type you an email. I’d be quite happy if 140 characters became the new email limit actually.

I can engage in conversations with multiple people and follow along with multiple conversations easily and quickly on Twitter. This is much easier then arranging a conference call or sending out a mass communication. A simple Twitter search can bring me up to speed on what a person is doing or what the community is thinking on a particular topic. This type of real time knowledge is powerful and extremely important.

I also absorb the majority of my current events and pop culture on Twitter. My entire life I’ve heard people reflect on remembering where they were when they heard JFK had died. I’ll tell the story of reading about Michael Jackson’s death in a Tweet for decades to come, as well as Britney Murphy or most recently John Forsythe (who was no relation, but a great actor).

So Twitter, now that you are 4 years old, what do you have planned for us next? You’ve got millions of us hooked, we can’t seem to go an hour without you, every new kid on the block wants to play with you, and you’ve developed a powerful personaility. The question is, how will you manage to further entrance yourself in our lives?

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