It's no secret that I'm not the biggest Twitter fan. But yesterday, we had to take my daughter to the ER to get IV fluids. She couldn't keep anything down, even water, and having been born with just one kidney we're always vigilant about her hydration.
During this gut-wrenching time (there's no comparison to worrying about the health of your child), Twitter let me keep my family and friends updated without stepping out of the room or disturbing anyone. It served a very valuable function, something it hadn't done for me previously. Oh, Twitter had been interesting, informative and sometimes fun, but never valuable.
Twitter is increasingly being used as a news service - whether it's reports of an earthquake, opinions on Presidential debates or first-hand accounts from the Mumbai attacks. In this instance, I was simply using Twitter for my own personal crisis. Micronews.
I wasn't expecting a dialog, though I got some very kind replies. (Thank you!) And that might be the reason why Twitter continues to do well. The expectation of dialog or replies is still low. When you shout into a canyon you're pleasantly surprised when you hear someone, other than your own echo, reply.
Maybe this isn't the big epiphany for you as it was for me. But it makes me think that Twitter can be more than just a promotional megaphone or "I just ate a mango" navel gazing. I also thought of new features I might want, like the ability to Tweet to a subset of my followers.
Hopefully my followers on both Twitter and FriendFeed don't mind my tangent into personal chatter. (No Qwitters yet.) And I'm certainly hoping I don't have to take advantage of this particular use of Twitter any time soon. But it's nice to know it's there.
Thank you Twitter.