A couple weeks ago, I published a guest post on A Fool of Myself about Twitter, the micro-blogging site that is sweeping the web. Today, I came across several articles presenting unique uses of Twitter that I enjoyed reading about, and I hope you will too.
Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address Twitterized
Carter F. Smith at Kicking and Screaming asks if Lincoln could have delivered the Gettysburg Address (which is 271 words) on Twitter (which limits posts to 140 characters), what would it look like, an interesting, if not a bit silly, proposal. And so, Smith proposes Lincoln’s 140-character Gettysburg Address. Read the article, but if you just want to read the famous speech in concentrated form, just skip to the bottom.
Another innovative use of Twitter is “Twitpitches,” fathered by Stowe Boyd. In a blog post, he announced that start-ups wishing to meeting with Boyd during the Web 2.0 Expo needed to send him a pitch in a Twitter message. Citing the mess of dealing with a variety of pitches via email (large attachments, wordy press releases), Boyd argues that Twitpitches will simplify matters.
Boyd is definitely thinking outside the box: He’s thinking short, concise, concentrated. But were I in Boyd’s position, I doubt my ability to manage the messages in Twitter. It doesn’t seem built for that. I love the power of Gmail: searching, connection to Google Calendar, mobile access (even though I’m not using it, it is available that way). Regardless of my qualms about the technique, it’s an innovative approach to an all-too-common problem: information overload.
Brian Clark at Copyblogger recently announced a creative writing contest with a sweet prize: Write the best 140-character story and win an iPod nano. Have you written a six-word memoir? Then you should definitely give Copyblogger’s contest a try. No Twitter account yet? Well, what are you waiting for? (And be sure to follow me once you’ve signed up!) Feel free to leave a comment here with a link to your Twitstory–I’d love to read it! Here’s mine.
Want to read all of the Twitstories? So did Daniel Smith at Smithereen’s blog. And in order to get around Twitter’s lack of infrastructure, he used Diigo (on my recommendation, even!) to organize all the Twitstories into one WebSlides show (Unfortunately, the WebSlide is not currently 100% functional: You can view the first 20 Twitstories, but then the slide show ends. Smith reports that the Diigo team is working to solve the problem. Either way, Copyblogger should be grateful to Smith!)
On a side note, Smith calls them “CopyTwitters” in his post, but I must argue for the title “Twitstories,” which nicely parallels the more famous and previously coined “Twitpitches.” What do you think? :)
Bonus: How to Make Facebook Useful Again
If you like Twitter, you probably use Facebook. Due to my attempt to be more productive (look for an explanation in the next New Year’s Resolutions Update), I have stopped visiting Facebook every day (or twelve times a day, which would be closer to the truth). But ReadWriteWeb’s article “How to Make Facebook Useful Again” caught my eye. I don’t know that I’ll ever use Facebook as my one-stop web shop, but I did add the business card application.