Thinking about Twitter and addas

I’ve been on a couple of transatlantic flights since Thursday, and to the West Coast at that; so I had a lot of time to think. And one of the things I spent some time thinking about was Twitter.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve picked up my fair share of idiosyncrasies. The most recent one is a doozy. Whenever I think about something, I preface it with a question. How would I explain it to my 10-year old daughter?

So when it came to the question What is Twitter, I decided I would try and explain it with a photograph. Or two.

I think Ayan Khasnabis has captured what Twitter is really about. Friends together. Having a chat. Some speaking, some listening. Easy, companionable, familiar. Open and relaxed. Meandering from subject to subject. Accessible to all.

Everything else is secondary.

23 thoughts on “Thinking about Twitter and addas”

  1. obviously I responded on Twitter first

    but I really like this post anyway, because it means that I can finally explain the essence of “adda” to non-Bengalis!

  2. Fantastic photographs! I think Twitter was exactly like this. I wonder if ‘this’ is sustainable as it grows, given the essence of the photos and my initial twitter experience was intimacy amongst friends.

  3. From an outside perspective (since I don’t use Twitter), I see two primary benefits to it.

    1) It allows you to see the conversations around a specific person.
    2) Its short output format allows an equally shared conversation because no one person can write some huge post to slow it down.

    And to flip the coin, it’s greatest weakness is that it is hosted in a walled garden elsewhere (the main reason why I don’t use it, as I want to retain a local history of my conversations). It would be the real world equivalent of only having conversations in a specific pub with your friends. Then one day you walk to the pub, only to find it closed, along with all of your “memories” (conversations) as well.

  4. “Friends together. Having a chat.”

    Just realized something else based upon this statement. Twitter is in effect a “cultivated” technology. It achieves this because the developers enforced certain limitations on its usage to enforce a certain culture (either knowingly or unknowingly). It’s somewhat similar to my other comment on your other post relating to how limitations can actually improve communities.

    I mean when you think of a group of true friends chatting with one another (as the pictures show above), each friend truly values their other friends and thus tries to be open, sharing, and caring to their needs. Thus they try to keep their contributions short and concise so as to share the conversation and give an opening to others to contribute things that they care about as well.

  5. Yes, I agree. But I would describe the communication slightly differently. One has the ability to unilaterally decide when and what they want to communicate to others at any given point in time on a continuing basis, and the world gets to see that instanteously.

  6. Hi JP, I was facilitating a session on Governance at the recent Enterprise 2.0 conference in Sydney that you spoke to via video. This is my second presentation at an E2.0 event (the other being in Italy last June). Both events were marked by intense twittering, twitpics etc… but I still didn’t quite “get” it, but from my blog post above I’m starting to see that the key is in “questions & answers” more so than what you are currently doing.

    On a related note your talk resonated with me and the ideas I will soon have published here …
    I thought to contact you and ask if you would be interested in being a pre-publication reviewer. You kindly gave us your Twitter ID so I am following you and intended to send you a direct tweet. I found that to be able to do that I need you to follow me. I note that you do try to reciprocate but I can see the number of followers and followees you have is enormous. So I thought I would try this channel. I know its a little more public but from what I am being told by my E2.0 buddies, they are starting to go off e-mail in favour of Web 2.0 channels. I keenly await your response :) Failing that … you will probably get an email from me….

  7. When I first used Twitter, it was a collection of people I knew (those I followed)

    Now most of my time is spent reading tweets based around subjects (# tagged ‘channels’, or just keywords), so as an example, but without elucidation, I currently follow


    Maybe its still an adda, but more focused on content than connection.

  8. Love the pix but disagree. Most of my twitter followers aren’t ‘friends’ as would be depicted in the picture. That’s more what my Facebook status updates & activity are like. I find Twitter to be a bit more tribal. Everyone has a tribe that they speak to and interact with but at different levels. Still don’t know how to explain to a 10-yr old.

  9. I think you have summed it up well here with these 2 photos! I have been using twitter for nearly 6 months now but still would have no idea how to explain it in a couple of sentances!

  10. After so many days, I could read the post. I do not know much about twitter. But your post is very interesting indeed which forced me to open twitter on a separate tab of IE.

    Will do a bit research… :)

    And keep writing mate..

  11. thanks for your comments everyone. Ayan, you should set up a business selling the prints above. You have a great gift. I know I would buy them! Seriously.

  12. I also agree, well in principal with twitter. It’s a great way of communicating with people you know, but I do find that sometimes you have to trawl through a lot of rubbish to find valued information. It can get abused by people; maybe it’s just the company I keep.

    Overall, a great tool and it’s great to integrate and play about it.

  13. Nice thought-provoking post, as always. Fortunately, these days, I don’t think you have to work too hard to explain these things to a 10 year old. This generation expects any and all resources (especially games and interactive groups such as “Club Penguin”) to be online. It’s the way they’re learning to live.

  14. :-) sometimes we think we’re explaining things to 10-year olds. As you say, they understand already. The people we land up explaining to is ourselves.

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