As of the past few days, you might consider me 'active tweeter'.
It's been an interesting experience so far. I've been on Twitter for a few months now, but only as of late have I been an active participant. It's sort of a challenge, actually. You get 140 characters each time to say what you need to say (cue John Mayer - a fellow tweeter).
But if you take away all the hashtags and threads, spambots and pornbots that lurk and follow you around as you tweet, you might actually be surprised to find somewhat of an extended community.
Unlike a lot of people who use Twitter, I have less than 100 people that I'm 'following'... and less than that number follow me. But I like it that way because it feels selective -- as though those people have chosen me for a reason, and likewise.
Sorry Miley Cyrus, I really don't want to know about your latte conundrums.
But perhaps my favourite part of joining Twitter is what I've noticed over the past couple of weeks. Everyday when I sign on I see a selective dialogue of things that are strictly Torontonian. Everything from Mayor Miller tweeting about council meetings, to Adam Giambrone talking about the new metro passes.
But between the superstars and notables, there's something understated that's quite worth mentioning: the tweeters who live and breathe all the things that make Toronto the city it is. These people are always on top of what's happening in our city - from live restaurant reviews and exhibits, to festivals, and sometimes random musings... they've brought the pulse of the city to this online community.
What I've learned from Toronto Tweets so far:
- Torontonians LOVE their food. Seriously... I can't count the number of local chef references, vendors, lunch menus and bakery shop advice I've seen.
- People get excited about the sunshine because it means they can go out and discover a new gem in the city.
- Torontonians are passionate about local news. You may think no one cares, but people are paying attention to all the details in the city.
- We're a fairly happy bunch. Seriously - there's always someone looking forward to something.
Some tweeters worth mentioning are:
SpotlightCity - stories, photos and articles (and a foodie haven) from the folks at SpotlightToronto.com - for the people, by the people.
NewsFixTo - these reporters love what they do. Most recently they provided up to the minute coverage of the Bush/Clinton visit, that rivaled any of the major news networks in the city. Plus, they have Pins on Maps!
BlogTO - Always up to date and current - everything from events and openings to food blogs.
As you can imagine, with tweeters such as these, there's a constant dialogue going on, focusing on everything from current affairs and news bites, to advice on the best hot dog vendors in town. All in real time.
And now, to make life easier for Toronto Tweeters, there's a fairly new website that's been developed called WeHeartToronto.Com. Although it's still making the rounds on Twitter, it's working to build a database of frequent Toronto based tweeters, and putting them into various categories such as technology, living, news, sports, traffic, people, etc.
If you go to their website, you can click on any of the categories and get real time tweets. The site feeds itself, as it updates every time someone who's listed in a category tweets. You can see the tweet on their homepage, followed by the category that they live in.
I can honestly say that since joining and paying attention, I've learned more about this city and the people who live in it than I ever thought possible. It's regular people who love Toronto, sharing in the beauty and pulse that makes this city as amazing as it is.