I think I’ve blundered into a novel and possibly world-changing use for Twitter: 140-character versions of those Holiday Family Update letters/e-mails.
Like fruitcakes and 6 a.m. door-buster sales, the letters are a holiday tradition that persists despite wide public disapproval. Certainly the sender’s intentions are good. But I got one in the mail earlier today and found myself thinking geez, it’s long and dull but I guess I’ve got to read all three pages.
And as much as I love the family that sent it. . .I know this sounds really Grinchy, but. . .I really don’t care about most of that stuff.
And then I thought: Twitter!
Here’s my end-of-year family update:
Fact is, that’s pretty much my family’s year. The details are pretty boring, even to me.
A few minutes after I updated, my friend from the Health 2.0 world Alan Greene updated:
So Kevin’s at Case Western Reserve University, Austin’s voice changed, Alan’s wife Cheryl has landed a national TV gig, and Alan’s writing a new book. Okay, I don’t quite follow some of the other stuff, but I know I’ll ask Alan about Garrett and CheekyMonkey next time I see him.
Of course, there are environmental benefits to year-end family Tweets, and cost savings from paper and stamps. Probably social benefits too, since you can reach more people than you might send the standard update to. And–who knows? Call me a dreamer–the ellipical nature of the message could actually trigger phone calls or real-live conversations around the holidays. Besides, if someone gets your update and doesn’t care, what harm is done?
Okay, I admit this doesn’t rise to Albert Schweitzer levels in the contribution-to-humanity category. But if even one person is spared reading one end-of-year family letter that embarrasses him on behalf of the sender, I’ll feel damn proud.
Anyway, I invite you all to go out and Tweet your year-end messages to your followers. Copy them below as comments if you like, so we can see how you do them. I’m sure there are syntax “best practices” we can share.
Oh, and we need a hashtag. Anybody?
Read more here.