Twitter Toy

I have been slow to warm to Twitter and still remain only lukewarm. But as the tool has gained in worldwide popularity the usefulness and relevance has also grown.  It is possible to find topics of conversation relevant to your own interests. Here are some of the “people” I follow: Carlton_FC, AFL, NASA, stephenfry, DHughesy, KevinRuddPM, nolimitsforme, zen_habits, cshirky, miracle_virus, Eckhart_Tolle, alaindebotton, ALIANational, francophilia, marwilliamson, GrandDesigns09, ngv_melbourne.

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I have learnt how to use the tools of twitter, so that I can talk the lingo and stay in tune. These websites have great information about how to do that: Twitter chats; Blogging Twitter and other stories for beginners; #FollowFriday the anatomy of a twitter trend; Top 7 twitter comands; The most popluar twitter acronyms; TwittEarth; The Bamboo Project in which I’m almost convinced of the value of twitter. I look forward to #FollowFriday and #MusicMonday and I often tune into conversations that might interest me.

I see no value in reading updates like “having coffee with friends” or “got the kids off to school” etc etc. And I won’t monopolise updates with meaningless information like this, unless I see it as offering a view on life that might help in some way. I do like links to interesting articles, live football score updates, emerging news of world events, suggestions for music, books, movies, and events.

Linking my twitter to my mobile phone is something I prefer to live without because it would annoy me to receive a barrage of messages that are irrelevant to my life, and I have a life in the real world that is busy, fulfilling, and I value it more than my cyber life. For businesses and ornganisations I see that twitter and facebook play an essential role in the marketing, advertising and promotion programs along with an online presence of a website and blog.

I also have not linked Twitter with Facebook or LibraryThing even though I am aware of these functions. I use Facebook for keeping in touch with friends and family and sharing photos with them. I use Twitter for a more public presence and therefore try to keep my updates on a more professional level. Ultimately I see Twitter as a new toy that is novel and fun to play with.

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Kevin Bacon versus the Lone Cowboy

I recently watched a program on TV called How Kevin Bacon Cured Cancer. It was a really interesting documentary that followed some scientists and mathematicians as they tried to discover the mathematical theory and structure that supports networks. Kevin Bacon was of course the person who was the example used in the popular theory known as Six Degrees of Separation.

These networks apply to brain functions, cells, computer systems, viruses, the spread of disease, air traffic flight paths, and social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and many other systems or networks.

The concept of “hubs” enabled them to provide a richer and more comprehensive structure to the mathematical theory. Kevin Bacon would be the original celebrity “hub”. Heathrow Airport is a major hub in the air traffic systems. What makes a “hub” I wonder? When you think about people in social networks it can be due to popularity. In Facebook the number of “friends” you have is an indicator of this. But how many are manufactured and how many are genuine? Barrack Obama on Twitter would be a major hub in that system and a genuine one at that.

At the other extreme of this is what I have called “the lone cowboy”: the loner; the person who doesn’t want or need lots of people to validate your own identity in this world. It is someone who wants to opt-out of society and doesn’t want to be a part of the social network. This link in the network might be like a little regional airport, the less-used brain cells, or the person who lives a solitary existence.

I hope the mathematical theory does not conclude that the points with a small number of links are not any less needed or significant than the popular hubs in the network. My own tendencies move toward the less busy parts of the network.

1st life

Standing on the wet sand by the waters edge I talked to a friend about art. We soaked up the warmth of the perfect autumn day. Suddenly a dolphin appeared about 50 metres away. We paused to watch as its arched silhouette gradually disappeared into the golden dazzle. I’ve seen dolphins here before so it is not uncommon. Yet it always provides a spontaneous Zen moment. Who would want a Second Life when an excellent first life is there to be lived? Seeing a dolphin provides a Zen moment far superior than any Mindful Chime on Twitter.

 

The very next day gale force winds whipped the sea so ferociously that boats were wrecked; a dust storm choked the sky; power outages spread across the State; trees fell; traffic was gridlocked; and some people died.

 

The library without power was like a tomb. No power, no PC’s, no lifeblood of a modern day library. It was too dark to venture into the shelves, especially around 363.7 and 551.5. At least we could shelter as the wind raged outside.

 

Watch Sort of Dunno Nuthin’ by Peter Denahy to see how passionate one typical aussie teenager is about life.