Thursday 6 August 2009

Is Twitter Down?

Having resisted much of the social networking trends of the past few years (I don't myspace, never Bebo'd and rarely venture onto Facebook) I occasionally looked down at those people who checked their facebook pages like I check my email. I enjoyed the technology and appreciated its significance, but never felt the need to broadcast every moment of my life to people I'd once known. As anyone with an ounce of self awareness will recognise, everyday life is not that interesting, trying to document your every movement in the manner of Heat magazine is tiresome, inane and often boring. It's hard enough sometimes writing this blog (case in point?) a few times a week and that's even with the open brief of not having to always write about myself.

So imagine my horror when I realised that I was bothered by the fact that TWITTER IS DOWN. How has it come to this? How have I become a lover of the act of tweeting? Have I given in to the media drip feed of how awesome Twitter is and started to believe the hype? Or is it that it actually has a benefit beyond finding out that Paula Abdul has quit American Idol?

Well I would say (in my defence) it has quickly become important to my working day. Although I would consider maybe half of the people I follow on there friends, a great deal are people I respect professionally or whose tweets give me food for thought throughout the day. So I follow the posts of No.10 Downing Street and Barack Obama, Creative Review and The Independent. Services like this keep me informed of developments worldwide which I may have to illustrate, or of creative output that might inspire or interest me. I follow a Guardian blogger whose articles made me laugh and a musician whose music I enjoy but who also has a fantastically original approach to engaging with her fans. I follow other illustrators and I also used twitter to make connections with people before my trip to New York, which was invaluable in giving me a chance to network and in some cases make friends.

All in all I would now call myself a fully paid up member of the Twitter fan club. I don't think Twitter can save the world (Sorry Guardian Online), and I recognise that for most it may just be a simple distraction, but if you utilise it properly the system can be a really useful tool for a freelancer and definitely one worth exploring. So earlier when I felt the need to google "Is Twitter Down?" and landed on the fantastically simple site Is Twitter Down, where the answer was Yes, I found myself rushing to my blog to bemoan the situation and share a more lengthy version of what I will post when it returns;

Jemillo: @twitter "You don't know what you've got til it's (temporarily) gone"

Disclaimer (with tongue firmly in cheek) I'd like to point out that I am not an addict and I'd also like to say that this post was in no way paid for by Twitter (I wish) or endorsed by them or anyone associated with the website.

Now if only Twitter was working I could let people know I'd written this....


  1. You raise some interesting merits of Twitter here, but I'm still not convinced, I simply believe I'm a 'bad' user of this 'service'. I quite often forget to check it or even post messages myself and when I do remember I delve in and the see the whole world is tweeting away merrily.

    I see Twitter like an answering machine, occasionally I'll remember to check it's messages and it will occasionally be from a cold call sales pitch offering PVCu windows, doors and conservatories. But, sometimes, just sometimes it's a message from a friend with a lovely insight or great news to share that puts a genuine smile on your face. So it's not all bad.

    In my humble opinion, Twitter should come with a blinking red light, to remind me my friends' voices are in there.

  2. As a perfectionist I must amend my 'the' to a 'then' in the 4th line of my comment. '...and then see the whole world...' Thanks for pointing it out Jemma, dear friend, perhaps it was a subliminal nod to your "How has it come this?", 2nd para.

    Stones,glass houses. I can't edit my comment, but I can re-post and show the world how good I am at procrastinating from work and with tongue in cheek, bat this back to you. Keep writing, I'll keep reading. :-)

  3. Ah Michelle I knew I would be shamed by an error the minute I mentioned yours to you. Alas it is always the way. I can only offer up my efforts to edit and keep my posts interesting as the reason for the missing word.

    I appreciate the twitter comments, and the Harry Patch one. Keep up the commentary and I'll return with my thoughts when your blog is next updated.

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