But try as I might, I can't explain to ordinary folks (brother, dad, etc.) why this service is so valuable. A big part of my trouble has to do with Twitter's claimed purpose - to let people know What are you doing?. People rightly respond, why the heck should I care what you're doing? Good point, but a person who uses Twitter well is going way beyond answering this question.
But, thanks to my-creativeteam.com, I have my 1 sentence summary of why Twitter is so exciting:
"If you had the chance to sit at a bar and silently listen to 100 Reporters talking, would you? That’s Twitter."
(Thanks to Joan Stewart for originally sharing the quote.)
OK, listening to 100 reporters may not be your idea of a good time, but try this experiment. Replace reporters above with your peer groups of interest. Be they: programmers, marketers, bio-tech founders, CEOs, lawyers, stay at home moms, real estate agents, the-guy-who-always-finds-funny-links-on-the-web - you name it. Imagining you were quietly listening to them.
Sure, some of the chatter won't interest you, but a good portion of it may. Like any conversation, you'll hear tips, war stories, frustrations, drama and comedy. And because this is the web, you'll see links to other resources that expand on these relatively short comments.
The beauty of Twitter is that this conversation is totally shaped by you - you can add and remove people from it at will, check in and out of peer groups.
This, though, is something you're going to need to try for yourself to see just how effective it is. Here are some suggestions to get you started.