UPDATE: This event is now over and the complete transcript of the Diabetic Day's Twittering's are now available.
Twitter is a new thing on the 'net lately. You can send text messages of up to 140 characters into the cloud, and folks who are your "friends" or "followers" (read: digital stalkers) can receive those updates. You can send your updates to twitter via their Web Interface, via their Mobile Browser interface at http://m.twitter.com, but the really compelling way is via their 5-digit SMS code "40404." Here's a Twitter SMS Cheatsheet. For example, to "subscribe" to me, you'd SMS/text "follow shanselman" to code 40404. To stop, you'd SMS/text "leave shanselman."
Personally I find it a little silly to need to be THAT connected to folks, but I've found twitter to be useful in temporary situations, like conferences when you WANT to let folks know what's going on and what you're doing. It was very useful at Mix to meet up with folks I wanted to talk to, so from a just-in-time networking point of view, it was brilliant. I didn't update after Mix, though, until RailsConf2007.
I've been trying to raise money for Diabetes Research as I'm a Type I diabetic. Driving home today, I had an even better idea on how I could use Twitter.
Tomorrow, Thursday, May 18th, I'm going to "twitter" my Diabetes for one day. By this, I mean, every time I take a manual shot, update my pump, prick my finger, have a high blood sugar, have a low blood sugar, eat, calibrate my continuous meter, or do ANYTHING related to diabetes, I'll send an update to Twitter.
My hope is that this will give folks who don't think about diabetes a little insight into how often I, and 20 million others, either do, or should, be thinking about their diabetes. I'd also like you to imagine if a small child had this disease, and how a parent of a small child deals with it.
Please spread the word by , and I encourage you and yours to subscribe to my Twitter account just for 1 day. If you don't want to make an account, just visit http://www.twitter.com/shanselman throughout Tomorrow and watch the updates. I hope it'll give you some insight into diabetes, and maybe open some eyes.
Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. I am a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.