I can quite clearly remember when I realised how powerful a tool Twitter is/could be/will be (delete as appropriate) and thanks to Twitter’s new downloadable archive I can share it with you.


 Callistemon or commonly known as Red Bottlebrush
It was June/July 2009; I had been a member of Twitter for more than 18 months but had only been active on the service for around 8 months. I sent the following tweet, a question accompanied with an image and the new to me ‘hashtag’ into the aether that was Twitter:


I guess a little context would help, so let me paint a picture. It was June 2009, here in Wales we had just had something of a heat wave – yes the rain does stop occasionally. I was in my girlfriend’s (now fiancée) parents back garden where a plant had bloomed for the first time since they had moved there – a good 20 odd years – and no one had any idea what this plant was. So I snapped a picture, and decided to ask Twitter.

Two days later I received the following reply:

We had a name for this mysterious plant! From a complete stranger on the other side of the world! That’s when Twitter ’clicked’ for me, when I truly understood the power, convenience, and draw of such a network. My moment of Twitter clarity.

Although since the beginnings of the Internet we’ve had services that allowed us to connect with other people: usenet, IRC, forums and more; but they all required some sort of relationship to be built with the right people, and a huge computer (in comparison to my then iPhone).

Twitter gives me a single, convenient and easy place to get answers, meet like minded people, and discuss pretty much anything. An experience that I’m yet to have with any other social network.

Have you had a similar experience? Let me know in the comments.


  1. MattDSGNS (@mattdsgns) February 7, 2013 at 11:40 am


    That’s a pretty cool story and Twitter is definitely a useful tool to use when it comes to finding answers and debating with people.

    Although as a forum owner I still think people will need and use forums because of the in-depth answers you can get, with Twitter you limited to 140 characters and Facebook you’d struggle to connect with new people. So a forum is not dead yet!

    I can’t remember my moment of Twitter Clarity. I just enjoyed it from the off. I dare not look at my archive I’ve probably said some odd things in my teenage years, and I am pretty sure my first tweet (at the age of 16) was “Off to parents evening, this will be fun!” – or something along those lines.

    • Ben February 7, 2013 at 12:51 pm


      Thanks for the comment Matt!

      I completely agree that forums and other communication tools are still very relevant; and Twitter acts as a bridge to the wealth of information that can be found on forums. But for the odd quick question/discussion, twitter is the most effective for me.

      I’ve found it interesting and as you mentioned cringeworthy to see the progression of how I used/use Twitter, although it’s far too easy to get lost in a time long forgotten.

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