My Day with Twitter And A 2 Year Old

By Tad Miller | Apr 17, 2008
More Articles by Tad

My daughter recently had Pacemaker surgery, and has been “recovering” very nicely at home. Big thanks to everyone at Children’s National Medical Center for a successful surgery. When I say recovery that essentially amounted to two and a half hours lying down on a couch watching TV and then suddenly “alive” playing basketball and running around like 2 year olds tend to do. She is just as much of a handful now as before the surgery – but now with more endurance!

My wife and I have been splitting the day between watching after our daughter and work for the last week, but the other day schedules collided and it necessitated me taking the whole day off work to watch my daughter.

I decided to spend what little computer time I had in the day between playing with Barbie Princess Dolls and snack time to really see what it takes to be involved with Twitter for a whole day. Twitter is a micro-blogging sensation that allows users to send updates or “Tweets” up to 140 characters long. Updates are automatically sent to people who are “following” you. My weapon of choice to do this experiment is desktop client for Twitter called Twhirl that pops up all the Tweets of the people you follow on Twitter as they happen.

I started out the day trying to be interactive and responding to interesting posts, but potty training got in the way. Then an accident with the potty training kind of sunk that. So I then tried to keep up with the links people were sharing about their blog posts or interesting finds. I was learning new things about the happenings of the day in search engine marketing and interesting individual tidbits about the people I follow in real time.

Sugarrae is a fan of watching Ultimate Fighting. Jill Whalen likes American Idol; Michael Gray’s youngest daughter dented her braces at band practice, etc. I was really getting into it as the morning wore on, I went to make lunch for my daughter and turned away from her for only two minutes and the next thing I know she’s naked – completely jaybird naked and running around laughing and screaming in the house. The chase began! Eventually I caught her, found all her clothes and got her dressed. Danny Sullivan then Tweets that it’s time for today’s Webmaster radio. Then it was time for lunch.

As the early afternoon comes the tweets become much more rapid fire. Information is flying and spreading very fast. Twitter recently was credited with helping to free a student journalist arrested in Egypt after followers immediately came to the aid of the journalist after he Tweeted “Arrested”. I was catching up on the Tweets during my daughter’s early afternoon nap. People that I follow are soliciting votes on Digg and other social media websites and apparently getting good results doing so.

As the afternoon wore on the Tweets came faster, became much more conversational, like instant messaging, and my 2 year old became a little more demanding. I stopped to read stories with my daughter. We read “Go Dog Go” twice. As she later becomes engrossed watching Snow Buddies on DVD, I try to keep up with Twitter. Twhirl is dinging constantly. In the end it is actually easier to keep up with the two year old than all of the Tweets, and the two year old has a super bionic heart!

Twitter takes social media real time and really looks like a great way to get to know the people you follow and vice versa. It’s useful for advertising your blog posts or social media content to a very targeted audience of peers. I can see how it can be a little addicting, but I can honestly say that I don’t have time to follow even half of my Tweets when I’m at work. That being said, I’m planning on leaving Twhirl on at work and clicking on the Tweets that instantly interest me.

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