Welcome to Viva-city and Downtown San Diego
Sandra Simmons, Viva-city

Life in the City

-by Sandra Simmons


“What are you doing?” ask Twitter. “What’s on your mind?” prods Facebook.

The way we receive information is changing at an unprecedented speed. According to Shift Happens, it took 38 years to reach 50 million listeners via the radio, 13 years by television, four with the Internet, two years on Facebook, and I venture to write just months for Twitter.

Hard to believe, it’s only been ten years since the first weblog was published creating a revolutionary wave of social networks: Podcast, YouTube, Flickr, MySpace, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, just to name a few. This second-generation Internet technology affects the way we connect with one another, how we gather information, and a new way of doing business.

With over 74 million members, Facebook–the largest of the networks–recently changed their prompt from “What are you doing right now?” to “What’s on your mind?” The new question instantly changed the dialogue from action-based to more philosophical, thought-based responses.

Seeking a way to better connect with my neighbors, I established a Facebook and invited Downtowners to join. It’s amazing to realize how interconnected we are to one another.

Then, I discovered Twitter.

Just as email made the art of letter writing obsolete, Twitter is supplanting long typed messages to friends and colleagues.

With a tweet of 140 characters, one can create a clever, often times witty, sound bite of information. A tweet can update a position in time and space to bring about a serendipitous connection, make the writer more human by offering a snapshot of life, or just make someone smile. As a business application, it provides an informational headline to entice readers to peruse more by following a link.

Have you ever walked around a corner in a city other than San Diego and bumped into your college roommate? Or, called a friend and discovered she was just that moment thinking of you? Or, ever relayed an anecdote to find out the center of the story was your listener’s sister?

I muse…What do you get when you cross six degrees with the butterfly effect?

I asked Downtowner Twitterers why they tweet.

Brian Grahm"I Tweet therefore I Tweet. It is because it is. In the fullness of time and consciousness, before the darkness, there is Twitter." –Greg Koch, Parkloft

“Twitter is like blogging for the lazy. I was skeptical as to how useful it would be, but quickly realized it's quite addictive!” –Brian Graham, Nexus

“I tweet because it keeps me in touch with my friends and business! Very simple. It's a great tool; catching the eye of everyone!” –Manny Cepeda, Bella Via

“I like using Twitter because it’s easy and provides a streamline message. I put a message up, my friends receive it. Everyone should join!” –Kara Galasso-Garcia, Villa Maria

“Twitter is the butterfly wing that beautifully creates a flow, stirring and connecting you to infinite others and opening the universe.” –Sandra Simmons, Brickyard

Try it! Send me a tweet at www.twitter.com/SandraLSimmons

Want to be connected to your neighbors? Send me an email to join Viva-city’s Facebook. Sandra@viva-city.info -April 2009

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