What are you doing now?

Twittering at 3,500m on the Bolivian Altiplano

Twittering on the Bolivian Altiplano


The internet sometimes feels like a cluttered place, choc full of lots of useless applications that make geeks excited and leave the rest of us cold. When I first came across twitter I thought, what a waste of time, who cares what I’m doing right now? After a quick snoop around and after reading loads of 40 character posts like: “Morning all”, and “Think I might have a coffee before checking my emails” my first impressions were confirmed, WHO CARES, and I promptly decided that my life didn’t need yet another platform to express myself to an unlistening world.

However, when we were building the site for this expedition one of the key things we realised was the importance of currency. Things go cold really fast online. We noticed that it was frustrating following other expeditions who’s site might lay dormant for days and sometimes weeks, so we set ourselves the challenge of making our site as uptodate as possible. Knowing that we wouldn’t be sitting in-front of a computer all day we reckoned we could do this using a Blackberry for textual updates on twitter and a Spot Tracker for instant updates on our map. We originally wanted one of these too but our budget didn’t stretch : (

Now that I’ve been using twitter for almost six months, i’m hooked. I find it really useful medium for quick communication with other twitterers and for following their adventures thoughts, and it allows us to keep our site current without pulling up a chair to a computer screen. True enough, I do still get irritated by many of the geeks’ that I inadvertently wind up following, pointless tweets. It seems like many of the people who are compelled to answer the question, “What are you doing now?” seem to do little other than sit at a computer and tweet.

Others use it wisely and creatively and allow us to share a little of their interesting lives. People who actually do things make Twitter an exciting tool for documenting events current and up todate.

I’m particularly excited by @Alhumphreys’ walk in India which he will document in real time,

and inpressed by @Twitchhiker’s creative use of Twitter to travel.

@Robinb shows it’s usefulness in a mountain rescue.

And when we finally make it back into GPRS coverage, it works really well with our Sanoodi page

Twitter, its not just for geeks.

You can find out what the fuss is about here


3 thoughts on “What are you doing now?

  1. Isn’t it just texting to lots of people? Keep the faith. You look slim enough in the photo to fit into the McGyver tee shirt!

  2. Hey Fearghal.

    Interested to hear your positive reflections on the world of tweeting. I can see how your example, or Robin’s mountain rescue, expound the virtes of microblogging.

    As a counterpoint, however, here’s Shel Holtz’s thoughts on why people can sometimes get slightly over-obsessed with these things…

    “Guy Kawasaki needed a power cable for his laptop while staying (if memory serves) at the Hotel del Coronado. A nearby resident read the tweet and offered to drop by with a spare on his way to work.”

    As Hugh Grant would say, “Not exactly a classic anecdote, is it?”


    Fantastic work so far on the cycle, keep it up.


  3. @Derry, couldn’t agree more, Tweets can be both instanteous inanities and useful and current updates. I suppose like most things it depends on who’s at the controls and what they are actually doing. I am a real fan of cutting down the “transaction costs” of communicating and Twitter is great for this.
    Ben Saunders has an interesting post suggesting that Shakleton shared your concerns over a hundred years ago : http://www.bensaunders.com/2009/02/sir-ernest-shackleton-and-twitter/

    @Richard pretty much, after a month of gunga dins I’m alot svelter now, trying to refill the auxilary fuel tank again so there’s plenty of reserves for central Asia : )

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