I first heard about Twitter back in 2007 — back when I attempted to “live-blog” the September 2007 Republican debate at Morgan State University, and I believe it was Robert Cox of the Media Bloggers Association who told me about the new phenomenon. I’m all for communication, but at the time it didn’t make much sense to have simply another place to put words in cyberspace. It’s like, I already have this blog (and now I also have Facebook), but it all seems like such a chore sometimes, and besides, people who want to know what I think would read my thoughts here. Why would they go to Twitter?
Thinking that I should at least “keep up with the times” (if that’s the right expression), last year I finally got around to creating a Twitter account, and on May 7, 2009, I authored (would that be uttered?) the following “tweet“:

trying not to get involved.

That remained my status, and not much has happened to change my opinion.
The thing is, I keep seeing people’s tweets getting cited as if they are just as important as blog posts, and I wonder what’s up with that? Why? It seems like blogging-lite, so why bother.
Ultimately, what’s the point of Twitter? Asking that very question, I found a detailed list of reasons:

1. It’s a great way to publish to mobile devices;

Classical Values already has a PDA link, and I have no idea whether anyone uses it. Why would I want to publish to mobile devices? And whose? I am not so self-important as to imagine there’s any urgency in what I have to say in these essays that I need to publish them to people’s mobile devices.

2. it’s a social networking tool to make contacts and carry on conversations;

As to making contacts, how is it any better than Facebook or email? And I have enough “conversations.” I can barely keep up as it is. Any more and I wouldn’t have time to write blog posts.

3. it’s a way of discovering new information (through tips and leads);

Perhaps it is. I guess there are people who “Twitter” things they wouldn’t ordinarily “say.” Or “post.” Much less “write.” Still, if they are important and significant enough, someone else will notice them. This tweet from Jon Henke (that Huckabee complained about too much libertarianism at CPAC) was widely linked. But there’s no substitute for the detailed analysis I found linked at Instapundit, and I am not sure Twitter is designed for such things.

4. it’s a great way to follow what’s happening through your mobile (set Twitter up to send you mobile updates)

NO NO NO! I cannot stand beeping and ringing of any sort. If someone calls me on the phone, it’s an interruption, and there is nothing more annoying than the beep of a text message. I get enough email already, OK? I don’t have the time or the patience to handle what I now have.
Sorry, but I will not be a prisoner of what amounts to a constant, ongoing campaign of relentless electronic harassment.

5. It’s a way of organising people

Who in the hell am I going to “organize”? I can barely organize myself. Sheesh. It may well be a great tool for activists, though. But what if you dislike activists and activism? Might it be used against them? My problem is even if I agree with a cause, I don’t want to hear about it 24/7, and I especially don’t want opinions and requests constantly thrown at me. It leads to a state of total burnout. I worry that Twitter might only be helping to generate more “white noise” — another part of that contentious cacophony of millions of voices, each one demanding to be heard, demanding to be taken seriously, and because that cannot happen, tensions rise accordingly.

6. It’s a great way of reporting from a live event or other occasions when you only have your phone

OK, now that may be true, and the following may also be worth exploring:

7. You can aggregate a number of twitter feeds to one collective feed of what a group of people are doing
8. You can push an RSS feed into twitter, creating a mobile/social network update
9. For bloggers, it’s a good place to put thoughts and ideas that are so brief you wouldn’t normally blog them

So for five cents per text message, I can put thoughts on Twitter that I normally wouldn’t blog about. That seemed enough reason to set it up to work with my cell phone, which I did last night.
But this morning I worried whether it might be extravagant:

A nickel a tweet? Are my thoughts worth it?

I wouldn’t ask such a frivolous question here on the blog, but it seemed worth asking on the cell phone — if for no other reason than to test the setup. I guess it’s not a bad idea to have the ability to put a thought into cyberspace anytime, from anywhere. But it has to be worth the nickel.
Still, it is obvious that I am not using the technology to its maximum potential. Am I missing out on anything profound?