Farmer File

I have joined the Twitter Tsunami, but only because I was forced to choose between being a Tweeter/Tweetie and being waterboarded.

The decision to tweet my brains out 140 characters at a time was gradual. As some phony politicians some times describe their flip flops on major issues, my view of becoming a twit has “evolved.”

That happened when a few good friends told me I had no choice.

“Look, you have a new novel coming out this spring, right?” they said. “If you don’t use Twitter’s power, you might as well write your thriller on the wall of some ancient caveman’s home in rural France. That’s how important Twitter is to any business.”

All along I thought Twitter somehow was related to the cartoon critter. You know, “Tweety Bird,” a canary, part of the stable of fictional creatures owned by Warner Bothers and featured in the cartoons, “Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies.”

When that misunderstanding was resolved, I still had questions as to why I needed to get involved. Up to that moment I had also resisted Facebook and Linked In and Google + and all of the several hundred other social network websites that Wikipedia labels as “major.”

The ones I’ve eschewed include such tempting interest groups as:

• aSmallWorld: “European jet set and social elite world-wide.” (They would have eschewed me anyway, so never mind.)

• Blauk: “Anyone who wants to tell something about a stranger or acquaintance.

• Elixio: “Business executives, jet set and global elite.” (Invitation only).

• Hub Culture: “Global influencers focused on worth creation.”

• Ravelry: “Knitting and crochet.”

• The Sphere: “A private online social luxury network with exclusive personalized services.” (There’s that pesky, invitation only thing again.)

• “Gothic and industrial subculture.”

• Wellwer: “Community without borders, where sharing is everything.” “Networking inmates, friends, family.”

• Yammer: “Social networking for office colleagues.”

This sample of what’s out there is but a small, dazzling hint of the possibilities for social networking, from Advogato to Zooppa.

I also should note that “” apparently has a relatively small membership, according to Wikipedia. Maybe it’s too confining.

As I stumble through Twitter, I realize it is educational. I learn new words, or new uses for old, sturdy words. One example is “Folksonomy,” a newish Internet word somebody created by putting together Folk, which must refer somehow to people, and Taxonomy, the practice and science of classification. Oh.

It’s all very daunting and confusing. My Twitter learning curve has gone Alpine. A major challenge is reading some tweets from people trying to cram too much info into 140 characters, such as using words like “info.” C wot I mean?

I will master Twitter, under the impression that my goal is to get lots of followers. People who follow me. But, is it even legal? Is it different from stalking?

Twitter offers some laughs. A few tweet notes I’ve come across:

• ”Jack the Ripper and Winnie the Pooh have the same middle name. Coincidence? I think not.”

• ”Someone should tell scientists they don’t need to keep finding reasons for us to drink a glass of wine at night.”

My favorite so far was from my son, the day he realized I was on Twitter.

“My Dad is now on Twitter. The Mayans were off by few months.”

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