It was just over a year ago when I posted a post that began the “Twitter about editing” experiment. I had signed up for Twitter around a year before that but really never used the service since I didn’t have a good group to follow nor did I really know what to talk about. That gave me the idea for the “Twitter about editing” experiment. Little did we know that Twitter would evolve into such a mainstream phenomenon that CNN, Britney Spears and Ellen would cover it and start talking about it. And looking back over those comments to that post, a lot of those people commenting are still there … Twittering away. So with that, I deem the great Twitter about editing experiment a success. I think it’s a success because it it really feels like it puts a group of people together using Twitter for a very useful purpose: communicating about a single topic.
When Twitter began it it began with a simple premise: What are you doing? In fact that’s still the main premise of Twitter that is displayed all over the Twitter home page. But I think that really oversimplifies it a bit. To me it’s not so much about What are you doing? but more about How can this community help each other? While the random musings about what kind of cereal you are eating and how good or bad the weather may be are nice and may indeed help you get to know a follower who you will never meet in person the real power of the service lies when a community comes together to discusses topics, exchange ideas, disseminate information and just help one another. Another good explination can be found in this video from Common Craft:
You can also take a look at this recent tweet by jasondiamond:
He apparently discovered that deleting the MC State folder in the newest release of Avid Media Composer causes a loss of the licensing file. Is this a problem? Does this happen to people? Did it happen to Jason? I don’t really know the answer to those questions other than to say that if it has happened to one person it probably has happened (or will happen) to a number of others but by Jason putting this info out for the “Twitterverse” to see it may save someone else the headache if they were going to do the same thing. If it was an accidental deletion then maybe it’ll make users more careful. As an Avid user myself I saw the tweet and “retweeted” it. So several hundred Avid users might have seen that message. There you have the power of Twitter.
Even better than that has been the ability to ask and answer questions. I have had the occasion where I need some information, like the other day when a client needed an AVI file.
I hadn’t made an AVI file in so long I forgot what they were all about! I Twittered the question and got a number of answers with just a few minutes. Often answers to questions like that might lead to further discussion on a topic and the discovery of an even better answer. As an experienced FCP user myself I’ve been able to answer a number of questions on occasion and hopefully help someone out of a jam. And it’s important to remember these are questions and answers coming in from all over the world since a Twitter community can be worldwide.
But Twitter and this “editing and post” group of followers hasn’t been just a lot of questions asked by people who don’t want to wade through an Internet forum or discussion board. Many of us have discussed the RED camera, timecode, Avid vs. Final Cut Pro, and our own edit and camera gear. We have shared links galore and introduced old followers to new followers. We’ve posted pictures and videos and even tried to win a free Drobo or two. We’ve seen fail whales, suspicious accounts and suggested users. And we’ve seen similar services come and go as well as Facebook get redesigned to be more like Twitter. But yet we keep using the service. Despite Twitter’s flaws, it’s where a great #editingandpost community exists so we keep tweeting and following.
What does the future hold for Twitter? Many people think that it’s going to get too commercial. It certainly has become way more mainstream than ever. The more followers you get the harder it becomes to keep up as your friends timeline continues to grow. Many people wonder how Twitter is going to make money and if that will mean charging for accounts or charging for a premium version of the service. I hope not. There’s something elegantly simple about the 140 character response. IMHO, it would be great to see a way to group certain followers into their own stream. Groups in general seem to be a good idea. Twittgroups is an attempt at something similar and there is a great #editingandpost group there. You might often see the hash tag #editingandpost in a tweet. You can also get a good look at editing and post people with the We Follow site.This tag allows people to search by a topic … like editing and post. It would be nice if a user could add such a tag more easily without it counting as part of the 140 characters. That might get more people using hash tags in general.
No matter what happens with Twitter, no matter what the creators choose to do with the service, I hope that it continues to work well and we continue to have a good editing and post-production community that can share thoughts, ideas and tweets. So far Twitter has facilitated a lot of healthy discussion. If you are in the post-production business and want to join in then sign up for your own account and follow me @editblog. PVC is on there too with a tweet every time an article goes up as well. Grab an iPhone app or use one of the Twitter web services and follow a lot of others in the #editingandpost group.