On the Universe, Gravity & Twitter

For a while now, I have been thinking of writing a philisophical blog post on whether a year of Twitter usage has actually had a significant impact on my work life or the way how I generally use the internet.  If you had asked me a few weeks ago, the answer would have been a definite: hardly any impact! The main impact has been that occasionally people on twitter point me to articles which I otherwise would not have read.

The reason for this is mainly that I am not a multi-tasker. I tend to single-mindedly work on one task at a time, and usually only have one (at most two) windows open on my desktop (I may have a few minimized though). For that reason, applications such as Tweetdeck do not appeal much to me. The same is true for RSS and news readers. Although I have these apps installed, I hardly ever use them.

If I didn’t have a Twitter client on my phone, I would probably have long given up on Twitter altogether. I have been using the GRAVITY twitter client for a year: typically on the way to or from work and sometimes at lunchtime. My usage of Twitter has thus been restricted to posting interesting snapshots and photos orchids taken with my phone, the odd patchy conversation, retweeting what other people found and tweeting the occasional announcement. Not much to build up a big following. Partly a consequence of using Twitter only at certain times of the day.

This started to change for me when I came across Layman’s Take on Gravity. I decided to try Gravity’s Google Reader and Facebook support. As a consequence I use Gravity now as the main tool to keep on top of news sources for work and also privately. I use Twitter and ,more often and keep on top of what is happening on forums and blogs that I otherwise would only check occasionally. I also more often tweet articles that I read, simply by pressing a button.

Before I did not do this often because the process was too inconvenient for a single-tasker like me: having to open twitter.com or Tweetdeck, shorten URLs, copy and paste the URL, etc. etc. is far too annoying, even if you have browser plug-ins.  Many news sites on the web have widgets that integrate withT witter, Facebook, etc.: well, my consciousness filters them out like ads or I get annoyed when I click them and then have to log into another site before being able to do something.

The simple consequence is that because of Gravity I use Twitter more and that I keep on top of news (before I would check maybe once a week and then mark everything unread because I did not have enough time to check everything). In fact I am seeing clear signs of change with regards to my web usage patterns. What this shows is how powerful simple integration of social media can be. If it is simple to use,  it even has the power of changing the usage habits of somebody as single minded as me. This means that projects such as the Social Mobile Framework can have a huge impact on the life and habits of mobile users. I will certainly watch what happens with such technologies in future.


About Lars Kurth

Lars Kurth is a highly effective, passionate community manager with strong experience of working with open source communities (Symbian, Symbian DevCo, Eclipse, GNU) and currently is community manager for xen.org. Lars has 9 years of experience building and leading engineering teams and a track record of executing several change programs impacting 1000 users. Lars has 16 years of industry experience in the tools and mobile sector working at ARM, Symbian Ltd, Symbian Foundation and Nokia. Lars has strong analytical, communication, influencing and presentation skills, good knowledge of marketing and product management and extensive background in C/C , Java and software development practices which he learned working as community manager, product manager, chief architect, engineering manager and software developer. If you want to know more, check out uk.linkedin.com/in/larskurth. Personally, Lars has a wide range of interests such as literature, theatre, cinema, cooking and gardening. He is particularly fascinated by orchids and carnivorous plants and has built a rather large collection of plants from all over the world. His love for plants extends into a passion for travel, in particular to see plants grow in their native habitats.
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3 Responses to On the Universe, Gravity & Twitter

  1. Nitish Kumar says:

    Thanks for the reference man. It makes one happy if he come to know that his words served some purpose..

    • Lars Kurth says:

      You are welcome: without your article I never would have tried the Google Reader feature. Which is rather quite nice (-:

  2. Pingback: On the Universe, Gravity & Twitter | Tales From The Community

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