Saturday, April 17, 2010

Why I do this...

On December 19, 2008 I joined Twitter, although I only tweeted a few times over the first couple months. One year ago on April 17, 2009 I decided to start writing a blog and actually using Twitter. My first blog post simply pointed to my Twitter feed and I was off and running. I tried to find my first tweet, but haven't been able to scrounge it up yet. Since I have over 12,000 tweets none of the services like or work for me (there is a 3200 tweet limit), eventually Google's new timeline search will allow me to go back as far as the very first tweet on March 21, 2006. In the meantime, searching back through my tweets archived on FriendFeed I was able to find this early tweet of mine, but I know that I have earlier ones.

So over the last year I have tweeted over 12,345 times (and counting) and this is the 356th post on the blog. That is about a post a day, excluding some holidays, and about 33 tweets a day. I have spent quite a bit of time reading , discussing, researching and sharing information over this past year. So why have I taken so much time and effort to publish all of this on the Internet?

Well, I care very deeply about healthcare in our country and am passionate about improving our government using technology. Really, this has become quite a hobby of mine. Some of my friends like to fly fish or go windsurfing, some like to fly airplanes go sailing, I like to tweet and blog. It has actually been quite fun and since I only sleep a few hours a night, not all that difficult for me to stay engaged. I seem to have a knack for finding information that people find useful and I enjoy disseminating it to anyone that might share my interests.

Fortunately my job has been able to mesh well with many of my interests so that research and reading that I do for work can then be shared with my readers. It is a blessing to be able to work in an area that I am passionate about. Since I was elected to City Council in 2008, I have become increasingly interested in finding ways to use technology apply open government principles. Attending the Gov 2.0 Summit last year was one of the big thrills of my life, and much of the networking leading up to the event was made possible through social media. Tweets can sometimes open doors of opportunity. I actually got to meet Andrew McLaughlin, Aneesh Chopra, and Tim O'Reilly and many other luminaries and folks I have admired from afar.

Over the past year I have tried to stay focused and keep most of my tweeting and posting meaningful and relevant to healthcare, technology and government 2.0 (with a few occasional side trips into glimpses of my personal life). Much of my more personal social networking occurs on Facebook, where I mostly stick to people who I have actually met in person. This past year has also seen the advent of Google Wave and Buzz(which has mostly replaced FriendFeed for my conversations, although FriendFeed is a great searchable archive for my tweets), Twitter added Lists and other new features, and we saw both Google and Bing begin to include tweets in their search results. This next year will see even more changes and I believe we will see increased adoption of social media tools, particularly mobile.

I have really enjoyed this past year and am very grateful for all the folks who have read my posts, the comments, tweets and retweets, and the fantastic online community I have been honored to participate in. Anyway it has been fun reminiscing this weekend over the past year and going back and reading through some of things I've been part of. This has been a wild ride and I look forward to this next year's journey. I am grateful to be able to be part of it all...