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....