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March 24, 2009

Twitter on a Road Trip

-1 A short time ago if I wrote about twitter only a select few would have a clue what I was talking about. There would be the need for a long winded description of the micro blogging service. By now it has surely tipped; you can't open a paper or hear a newscast without some mention of twitter these days. A recent Google search yielded 272,000,000 hits for twitter. However, it is still the most misunderstood, overanalyzed medium of our times. 

Those who don't use it, try to define it. Those who do use it, feel compelled to defend it. 

It is hard to keep up with all the commentary surrounding this online phenomenon. Why must an emerging technology fall victim to rules? Isn't half the fun in discovering new ways to use it?

Me? I am happy to have joined its ranks and find new ways to entertain myself and learn from it all the time. Which leads me to my favorite new use for twitter:

The road trip.

Armed with a blackberry sporting Twitterberry and a designated driver, I am able to stay connected and entertain my network with the antics of a family road trip. In turn, when the conversation in the car starts to lag, I can pull out a topic from the twitstream and strike up a new conversation.

Here are a few examples. 

On our last road trip we passed a town called Mifflinville. I sent out a tweet about this being the perfect place to have the next Dunder-Mifflin office party. (for those who are unfamiliar, that is the company on the TV show The Office that enjoys cult-like popularity). Within minutes I was re-tweeted several times and began conversations with all sorts of people I did not know before. 

That same weekend there was breaking news that we heard on twitter first. We were able to follow the story without ever having to turn on the radio. The commentary was much more entertaining because there was no spin to the story, just real people commenting in real time. This is whole new way to hear the news.

All sorts of interesting links were posted and we had discussions in the car on topics that we would have never known about. After hours on the road there is nothing better than a fresh topic. 

If you are looking for a restaurant, need traffic updates or want an alternate route to avoid an accident, chances are twitter can supply the help. It's kind of like GPS with a personality.

Twitter on the road is proof that updates are not just about what you had for breakfast!

Original 50-something Mom Blog post. Posted by Amy Zimmerman. Amy also blogs at i could cry but i don't have time and leaving the zip code.


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