About six weeks ago I wrote a post regarding a conversation I had with my sons about Twitter. At the time that I told my sons I found Twitter banal (definition of banal: "trite, obvious, predictable or commonplace"). I told them that "I don't care about what people are eating, where people are sitting, or what people are thinking regarding trivial things. I also have zero interest in telling people trivial things about my day as well." My concept of Twitter at the time was it was used only to help people keep up with celebrities, and since I have no interest in celebrity worship, I had no interest in Twitter. I enjoy people who think deeply, write cogently, and contribute to culture beneficially. I didn't think Twitter had much to offer. However, my sons began to argue with me that I didn't understand Twitter. They said Twitter could be used for either asinine information or important information--that one could receive from Twitter what one wished to receive. My boys explained to me that through the use of #hashtags# (something I had never heard of), Twitter could become a medium through which I could either link people to excellent articles that would be beneficial for people to read, or I could receive articles of interest for me on particular and obscure subjects. They then challenged me to try Twitter using hashtags and see Twitter as a medium through which people could connect.
So I tried what they suggest--last night--after the Oklahoma State Cowboys beat Oklahoma. I wrote a brief blogpost asking the question of whether or not boosters for the University of Alabama were paying broadcasters to promote Alabama to the BCS Championship Game. Most of you who read my blog regularly know that I usually write about history, theology or current events--and I am an Oklahoma Sooner football fan. So I knew that not many people who regularly read my blog would be interested in last night's post. But I wrote the post to test Twitter. I copied the link and tweeted "Do Alabama Boosters Pay ABC and ESPN Broadcasters to Promote Albama" using hashtags to connect the post with the following subjects: Alabama football, Mike Gundy, BCS Championship, Oklahoma State University Cowboys, ABC, ESPN, Kirk Herbstreit, and Brent Musberger. Again, I don't really care about the question or even the possible answers to the question--what I care about is whether or not people who do not normally read this blog would be attracted to read it . Oh my. With last night's post up for only 15 hours, and that on a Sunday when many don't read blogs, my blogpost had over 5,000 unique hits. Not everyone commented, but a few who did, notably Alabama fans, took exception to me asking such an 'idiotic' question. What those Alabama fans don't realize is they have helped my sons prove to me the value of Twitter. Twitter is simply a means of connecting people with other people. You get out of Twitter what you wish to get out of Twitter. For example, if I desire to stimulate conversation about the abolishment of the Old Covenant and what it means for followers of Christ to worship God in "spirit and truth," then I can link the theology post I've written on the Old Covenant to my Twitter account and hashtag it with key words. People from all over the world can be introduced to something they might otherwise remain unfamiliar with were it not for Twitter.
I've changed my mind regarding Twitter. I am convinced of its value. I am currently working on a blogpost regarding The Wizard of Oz and how it was written to promote the author's political and economic views on bimetallism, and how "Oz" is actually the measurement of gold (i.e. "ounces" or "oz"), and how the "Wizard" behind the curtain represents Washington's politicians whose economic policies keep Americans in bondage. It is my belief that the Wizard of Oz has as much to teach us about modern economic policies as it did when first written in 1900. I think I've learned how to use Twitter to connect with people who may find the the land of Oz fascinating.
Thanks Alabama fans for proving Twitter works. And, good luck in the BCS Championship game.