28 Oct 2009 Book Review: Twitter Wit
“It’s called Twitter, and you should get in on it, it’s like liquid bacon injected into your veins with a Jager chaser.”
And so I was introduced to Twitter back in the summer of 2008. I had no idea what Twitter was about. I remember signing up, reading a few random tweets from people I didn’t know, and thinking it was an incredible waste of time. I went dark for a few weeks, not tweeting and sometimes checking in on my stream through the web interface. Since I was not following many people, it was not very interesting. I got to see how many times Brent would stop at a Cracker Barrel when driving between Texas and Michigan. Yeah, it was really that exciting.
I believe the turning point for me was when I realized that there were actual applications that I could use to make my using Twitter easier than the web interface. I used Twhirl for a few weeks before I moved onto Tweetdeck where I have stayed ever since (and yes, I have tried Seesmic when it first came out but not recently). Once I got hold of an application my Twitter usage took off. It just made it easier for me to use Twitter.
So, I started following a bunch of SQL professionals. I also started following some celebrities. And I would also follow people who were following others. And follow people who followed me. And before I knew it I was following about 400 people. My stream was just filled with too much noise so I cut back and I am now down to about 280. And Tweetdeck allows for me to group the people I follow which means I can cut through the noise and just focus on specific tweets from IT professionals, which has greatly enhanced the ability for me to do my job as a DBA.
Along the way I found out something else about Twitter and tweets. See, the best tweets, as @badbanana said during an interview recently, are ones that have a twist to them. And he is right. It is an art form, stuffing a creative and witty thought into 140 characters. And when my geek colleagues are able to work in a twist with something related to databases, well, that’s good stuff right there.
Twitter Wit: Brilliance in 140 Characters or Less is a book filled with some of the best tweets with a twist. Congress (blog | twitter) was given a copy recently and I picked it up and went cover to cover, enjoying the art form that was being laid out in black and white before my eyes. Here are some fine examples:
“Why should I be the one to take the kids to see their psychologist? I don’t even love them!” @Fireland
“Why aren’t martini glasses shaped so that they don’t spill so easily on the bus?” @pagecrusher
“It’s happened: I have developed real emotions for my iPhone. Actually, it’s no surprise, because I was raised by a TV and a microwave.” @Stuartpaap
“Cranked the treadmill up to MAX for 15 minutes. When I finally took a break my roller skates were hot to the touch.” @thepeoplegeek
My only regret is that I wish Congress would have handed me the book right before I left for PASS this Sunday, so that I could have read it on the plane. Then again, people would have probably gotten tired of my laughing after the first few hours. If you enjoy using Twitter then you would enjoy this book. I have added it to my library, placing it on my Professional Development bookshelf.
And it is also that time of year I would dare say that this makes for a great stocking stuffer. But so does bacon, so be careful not to put bacon and this book in the same stocking. It would be harder to read afterwards, but it would smell great forever.