In Praise Of Twitter!

I, like India Knight, the Sunday Times columnist, am now a convert to Twitter! For those who ‘know nothing’ about it, Twitter is an online networking website that allows you to send basically one-line snippets out into the ether about what you are up to, or thinking, at any particular moment.

To begin with I was very skeptical and uninterested in this concept; I didn’t particularly want complete strangers to know what I was up to, and had very little interest in who out there was ‘having a cup of tea’ for example. BUT once you get into it, it is actually quite fun, and also, I have to admit, proving to be rather useful.

I decided in my guise as an ‘Almerimar Strays person’ to follow other Tweeters with an animal interest (particularly cats), and found amusingly that most are Tweeting as if they were their cat or dog. I therefore now tweet as myself with AlStrays updates, but also as Mori, Saidi and Oscar. All these little ‘gems’ appear as I send them at the top of the blog homepage, but if you miss them you can catchup via the weekly summary post every Sunday.

Ok so that’s the fun bit. On a more serious note, it has made more people (Tweeters) aware of my ALStrays blog, and I have had a number of very positive messages about what we are doing here. It has also made me aware of some other organisations who are doing similar work in different countries, and of other related blogs and web sites.

And on an even more positive note, we have had our first donation to my UK PayPal account from a fellow Tweeter. At this point I should also say what a great tool PayPal is as a secure method of paying and receiving money. This is just a start to fund-raising via PayPal, but the money will be very useful, particularly as I am thinking of ordering some meds (Frontline etc.) from a cheap UK site.

SO thanks to Chris for continually pushing me to ’embrace’ technology, thanks to Twitter for proving to be useful as well as fun, and a big thank you to Gareth Slee for our first PayPal donation to Almerimar Strays.

AND FiNALLY … if you are a fan of India Knight’s columns in the Sunday Times, here is evidence of her conversion:

” I wrote sniffily about Twitter a few weeks ago, saying it was needy and megalomaniacal and plain weird for any sane person to spend the day posting random thoughts onto a public site. I’d like to eat my words. I was completely wrong: Twitter is amazing.

I’m relatively new to it, but it does three things brilliantly. One, it reminds you that people, complete strangers, are basically clever, funny and nice. This may seem a small thing but it’s an important and life-affirming one, especially with the amount of anonymous bile elsewhere online: Twitter puts you in a good mood.

Two, it’s an incredibly useful resource, which is why some people even use it as an alternative to Google; aside from the fact that Twitterers are everywhere and often break news as a result, you can ask a question – where to have dinner in Minsk, whether the baby’s rash is sinister, if an exhibition is worth seeing, or whatever else you like, from politics to engineering via making noodles and the finer points of construction – and know you’ll get succinct, informed replies.

Three, it makes you feel connected in a way that is hard to describe but that I’d miss terribly if Twitter died overnight. My hippieish streak finds it beautiful to have these little insights into other people’s lives. Two weeks ago I’d have called that interest prurience. But there’s a difference. So: total U-turn. Come and say hello. I’m @indiaknight.”

To read her full column click here .

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