1. How and when did you first hear of Twitter?

Well over a year ago I was first told to check out Twitter.  I looked at it and almost immediately dismissed it…  More on why below…

2. When did you first start Twittering?

I jumped back in last October, thanks to the nudging of O’Reilly colleague Steve Weiss.

3. Why does Twitter appeal to you? Why do you Twitter?

The thing I love most about Twitter is the immediacy it provides.  I’ve been to a couple of our conferences recently and Twitter adds a dramatically new component.  I was able to hear what was going on in other sessions I wasn’t sitting in, for example, so it allowed me to feel like I was attending all the parallel tracks.  I also greatly appreciate it that a tool like TweetDeck lets me follow groups of people and do keyword searches.  These were all features that either didn’t exist or I just wasn’t exposed to when I tried Twitter earlier.

4. Did you immediately jump right into Twittering, or did it take you a while to start Twittering regularly?

I complained about the poor signal-to-noise ratio I encountered when I first tried Twitter initially and that’s why I abandoned it.  Once Steve got me to look at it again I tried Twhirl and liked what I saw.  But now that I’ve been using TweetDeck almost exclusively I find it to be the best tool for my needs.

5. How much time do you spend each day on Twitter?

Not enough. I don’t have time where I do nothing but Twitter so it’s mostly in between or while I’m doing other things.  I also TwitterFon on my iPhone and probably read as many tweets that way as I do on my Mac via TweetDeck.  It’s great while sitting in traffic or at the airport!

6. When someone asks you what Twitter is and how it works, how do you describe it?
I always tell them to think of it like blogging, only with a maximum length of 140 characters.  I recently explained it that way to my father in-law who’s 70+ years old and he seemed to get it!

7. If you could follow only three people on Twitter, who would they be and why?

@TimOreilly, not just because I work for him but because he’s so active and seems to catch and retweet so many of the great messages.
@Pogue, sure, he’s an O’Reilly author but he’s fun to read and covers a lot of ground
@PTIshow, mostly because I’m a sports freak, a huge ESPN fan and an even bigger PTI fan

8. Do you have any pet peeves re: Twitter?

The 140 character count max is a blessing and a curse. I hate to think how many hours I’ve spent shortening words, changing “one” to “1” or “and” to “&” just to get below that max!  I also wish TweetDeck wasn’t so darned unstable. I had lots of problems with it on the Windows platform and it seems to have just as many issues on the Mac.

9. What do you think Twitter’s future is in 1 year? 5 years? Do you think you’ll still be using it?
Given the rapid rate of change and the low barrier to entry in these things I can’t say for sure I’ll be using Twitter in a year or two.  That said, I guarantee you I’ll be using a micro-blogging tool like this for many years, even if it’s not Twitter itself.

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