I never gave much thought to using Twitter, as the notion of following someone's (anyones?) every move held zero appeal to me. I stand corrected.
I still have zero interest in knowing where people eat lunch. I am now, however, committed to using the Twitter service as a tool for collecting new ideas and items of interest to me.
Initially I signed up just to take a look at the service when I purchased my new HTC phone with a Twitter application built in to the Android operating system. I quickly found several people who's opinions I respect and/or who's writing I find interesting with Twitter accounts.
I enjoy the opinions and links shared by writers such as Harry McCracken, David Pogue and Thomas Friedman. I have also signed up to follow our provincial Minister of Education Dave Hancock, several local educators, and respected bloggers/authors such as Dan Pink, Karl Fisch and Ray Schroeder. Being on the receiving end of their thoughts in short, 140-character or less bursts is a great way to stimulate my thinking during a busy day and to help focus my reflection on topics we discuss. The value to me is similar to planning meetings at work where we are brainstorming different topics, except these mini brainstorms for me now occur throughout the day.
So, on the relative value of Twitter, I have a new position. I think this is a pretty valuable service and I'm going to be searching for ways to continue to increase the value of it. Twitter as a micro-blog may even render this forum obsolete one day, although I think I'll always need a spot to express more evolved thoughts. A 140 character limit is tough for a talker like me to meet!
A couple of teacher friends are even trying to use Twitter with their classes as ways to use student cell phones to help keep kids on track with their homework and other course happenings. I am excited to see if that takes off!
If you like, you can find me on twitter using. I am @acmcdonaldgp (http://twitter.com/acmcdonaldgp)