I’m not the first to realise this, but I find I’m sending far more DMs (direct messages) through twitter then I’m sending emails to communicate with people. And why is this? Well..
… its not because I can write more. Only 140 char and no attachments.
… its not because notification is better. I get DM notification through my email. (not SMS, I do not have an unlimited account) So when I get the email, I still have to go into twitter to reply.
… and its DEFINITELY not because its more reliable.. we are talking about twitter my friends, the only service who’s ‘FAIL’ graphic shows up in anime.
So why? Simple. I do not know the email addresses of many of the people I’m communicating with via Twitter. And the funny thing is, I don’t mind. Despite ‘poor mans email’ as Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt remarked, I like keeping my ‘daily chatter’ in twitter and my other communications in email. Cleans up the inbox I can tell you!. Also, by having my ‘tweet’ communications in twitter, I discovered that its easier to find past communications because I do not have everything all in one place. There is another benefit. Based on the medium I choose to communicate to someone, implies the importance of the message. For example, by sending a DM, I’m implying that this communication is at ‘chat’ level. Meaning I’m either sending a quick comment like, ‘take a look at this’, or ‘congratulations’, or ‘what time are people getting together on Tuesday’? If I was to send that same message in an email, just the fact it was sent in email gives it a little more of a formal feel. Mostly because you ‘got’ the email and you have to ‘open’ it, then delete it when done. These are very slight differences, but differences all the same.
There are downsides of course, like seeing an DM or reply in twitter and still getting the email notification, but I can live with that. At some point I will have to write a little bit of code that keeps track of what I’m seen in my twitter client and email me only if I get something new. Perhaps I’ll write that down the line, but for now, I’m quite happy with my poor mans email.