I could have called this something really catchy, like the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which would have really helped my search engine placement, or something more descriptive like the Twitter, the Tweet and the Twibe, which may have only confused you. In the end (at the beginning, actually) I opted for a title which does exactly what it says.
As a savvy internet user, there's a good chance that you are already in one of three Twitter camps. If you belong to the first, you already use and love Twitter. If that's the case, stop now, count the flags or read the ads or leave a comment on another entry - there's nothing about to be said that you don't already know. And if you are a member of the second group you already know about and loathe Twitter. In this case, recommendations given to the first group also apply.
If however, you are ignorant of Twitter, or have only heard of it and are a wee bit Twitter-curious, read on.
You may have noticed there is a 'Follow me on Twitter' icon at the bottom of the left column of Algarvean Daze, like the one just here. It is there for your future use, but for now we want to open Twitter without closing Algarvean Daze, so you can switch between the two. Get ready, and after you CLICK HERE and have a look around, come back. (For what it's worth, getting to Twitter all on you own can be done by going to twitter.com/xxxxxxxx, where xxxxxxxx is the name of the Twitter user you want to see - like twitter.com/algarveandaze. Using simply twitter.com takes you to the logon page, which is handy if you're a user and want to log on.)
The page that was displayed simply showed a list of short sentences. Each sentence is called a 'Tweet'. If the Tweet simply started as a normal sentence would, ie without any funny characters, that's a message I wrote for all to read. At times it will have a link embedded within it to take you somewhere else, and at time it will simply be a statement.
If the sentence started with a '@', that's a message I've written to send to a specific Twitter user, as well as displaying it in my list of non-targeted posts. That's it. Really. Well as far as we'll go right now - this has been about seeing things I've written - in a few days we'll look at how you use Twitter to receive information, that is, how to use Twitter to 'follow' other Twitter users, and how other users 'follow' you. We'll see how multiple Twitterers can pool their information in groups ('Twibes') that target special interests - like the Algarve!
And the rationale is?
It's a bit like those letters that get included with Christmas cards, only a lot more topical. In the Christmas letter you will have the really newsworthy stuff, the hatches, the matches and the dispatches, but rarely do you have a sentence about how funny Joe looked when the nozzle came off of the hose and soaked his new shoes. Unlike fine wine, a seven month old story about Joe's sodden footware really doesn't improve with age. With Twitter, you post a single entry about a single event, sometimes the people who follow you will respond, sometimes they'll just laugh, or cry, or despair. The important thing is that you didn't wait until Christmas.