That describes the number that appears, on the page called @timbray, with the label “followers”. I’m finding it kind of intimidating, and while I’m no more confident about What It All Means than I was when that number passed one thousand, I’ve been thinking about it more. Plus, I thought I’d throw in some Twittertainment.
Talking to Thousands · The number of “followers” you have obviously doesn’t equal the number of people reading your 140-character pearls of prose. Some of them aren’t real people, some of them don’t use Twitter any more, and even the ones who do aren’t online all the time, so they’re quite likely to miss anything I write.
Still, this number has made it entirely impossible for me to tweet things like “Cut myself shaving” or “Weather’s lovely” because it would be idiotic to impose that on maybe hundreds of people. It feels like each tweet has to have substance and balance and all that other stuff, just like I want for ongoing fragments.
I find that postings of the form “Here’s a way-cool link” have almost entirely migrated from here to Twitter; the medium better matches the message. So there will be fewer Tab Dump postings here, which is on balance a good thing, I think.
On the other hand, I tweet links to some but not all of my ongoing posts, without having a good mental model of why.
River · There’s one thing that’s become terribly clear to me: Twitter is inherently a river-of-news; when I come back to my computer after a while offline, I have no urge to look back at the missed tweets. If it’s important, it’ll come back.
Twittertainment · A conversation from May 2nd:
Tim: So, who are the people sitting in the cafes at every hour of day or night, not apparently working?
Doug Winter: NPCs.
Glen Campbell: That’d be Michael Arrington.
John Clingan: Yeah, they sit at the tables with power cords!
Brian Dear: Talking Heads wrote a song about that, I believe.
Vinay Augustine: ’Round me they tend to be retirees.
Ted Han: They’re 1st year college students :P That's what i did my freshman year. (record: 11 hrs hanging out in a coffee shop aptly named “Insomnia”)
Steve Holden: PHP programmers?
Paul Kedrosky: They are people awaiting further instructions. Didn’t you know?
From May 16:
Tim: Geeks shift from other langs to Ruby or Python, but very rarely from R to P or P to R. Thus, Ruby and Python are Geek Sinks.
Edward: Pretty wrong!
Bill Bumgarner: Only because they are effectively the same thing and, thus, there is no real motivation to move between.
Aurynn Shaw: Perl is still my first love, even though I have fallen into the dark Pythonic Abyss.
James Tauber: Agreed: Ruby is cool but the appeal isn’t great enough for me to switch from Python. If I didn’t know either, either would be great.
Emanuele “∞” Vulcano: Methinks Ruby’s on the side of Smalltalk, while Python veers a little into Perl territory at times. Just an overall feeling, though.
Thijs van der Vossen: No, there’s so little real difference between Ruby and Python that there’s no reason to shift from R to P or from P to R.
raminf: So that makes Python and Ruby the La Brea Tar Pits of our times? Or are they more like Hotel California? :-)
Gavin Bell: Was discussing building collective intelligence apps in python alongside our ruby apps today oddly, there is a call for both.
ceplm: Which is the reason I am sorry, you seem to be being lost to that other language (I like Python ;-))
Joe Cheng: People don't shift between Ruby and Python because you either grok lambdas/blocks or you don't ;)
Lennon Day-Reynolds: I was a pretty dedicated Python coder before I started coding in Ruby. That was 4-5 years ago, and I'm still mostly a Ruby guy.
Paul Smith: I switched from Ruby to Python, FWIW.
Elliot Murphy: I prefer python but have been teaching people ruby because the books were better.
Adam Endicott: I think that’s because Ruby and Python are equivalently “good”, so when one sucks them in, there’s no incentive to switch.
Laurent Sansonetti: R to P is impossible, unless you forgot to take medication.