Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Yes, I'm still around.  Just haven't had time to write much lately.  I am exercising, though, not running (I find it boring).  I'll update more this weekend.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Yes, I do like Twitter

I was having a conversation with a relative who was railing against facebook and saying she preferred to interact with people on a one-to-one basis and didn't understand why people spent any time on it. While much of this conversation centered on facebook, I realized she was basically saying all social media.  There are two issues with this:
  1. Most people who are on facebook, don't really like it, but realize the value in it.
  2. All social media sites are not the same.
As to the first point, I use facebook for family and friends and it works.  Before facebook, I would talk to some relatives on the occasional trip back east to visit the family and I'd maybe send a friend from school (elementary->college) an email.  I don't actively seek out people from my past, but I enjoy hearing what's going on with people I know.  I was recently contacted by one friend from elementary school and found out he graduated Yale and Harvard and was doing work equivalent for those schools in the government.  Besides making me have a small inferiority complex, I thought it was pretty cool.  I don't feel the need to check facebook every day, and do not.  However, I like being able to find out a friend had child, got engaged, is doing a comedy show, etc.  Also, as to my relatives, I have more contact and interaction now with them then even when I was growing up on the east coast, and facebook is a good part of that.

A saying that both my wife and I like is:
Facebook is for people I used to know, Twitter is for people you'd like to know better.
Social media websites are definitely not alike.  Everyone knows if you are making a lot of changes to your linkedin account and connecting to more and more people, you are probably looking for a change in employment.  Twitter is for finding people with common interests or ideas or situations.  I've been able to learn so much more because of twitter and the people I've met on it.  The main folks I follow fall into one of four categories:

  • Folks with PD or other neurological diseases and their caregivers and doctors
  • People who tweet about politics (journalists and liberals for the most part)
  • Scientists of all makes and varieties
  • Some techies

What's great about twitter is some of those people I follow, just to see what their doing or saying, follow back.  For instance, a really cool one happened this week, when the MIT Professor Max Little who is testing a system to diagnose Parkinson's Disease over the phone followed me.  I had found his unused twitter account a month ago and he has just started to use it to get the word out more on his research (they are trying to get over 10k samples and have about 6500 as of a couple days ago). It's nice to be able to provide feedback and get real time information about work/people that either effect you, inspire you, educate you or make you more aware of what is going on in the world.

BTW, if you have not yet participated in the study, please click the link to get the telephone number and call. You do not have to have Parkinson's to do the test as they want both those who are diagnosed and those who do not have the disease.