Twitter for paddling

I am not a twit, that is, I have never twittered.

My understanding is Twitter let’s you microblog. It says so on their website. Somehow or other, as I understand it, you sign up at, and then you can enter messages of 140 characters or less (think text message), the idea being you tweet about what you are doing, right now. “I’m on my way to the store.” Like me, you are probably thinking, why the heck do I want to know what you are doing? But bear with me.

My further understanding is twitter will forward the message to your cell phone, so you’d get this little message on your phone. Now, how, exactly, twitter knows who I want this tweet to go to, I don’t know. But seems like there is a way to designate or enroll in a group that you want to share tweets with.

So, what if there is a group of fellow p-netters with whom you paddle. Now let’s say it Friday night, you just checked the gauge and your favorite local stream is running, and you decide to get out in the morning and paddle the stream. You could tweet to your paddling buddies, “I’m going to run the Gunpowder. Meet at Jones Road, 10 a.m.”

This might be especially useful at a large, semi-organized gathering such as a paddling rendezvous where coordination is problematic. Do you hear me Jeff? Now there is one paddler I have heard say, “don’t have a cell phone, don’t want one.” But the majority of people do, and if there were a tweet flying around to 75% of the folks saying “river trip, 10a.m.”, word would get around much better than it does by sneaker-net (chota-net?). It might even be better than a white-board. Both might be the best of all, because then even tech unsavy geezers like me could get the word.

Thoughts and comments?

Anybody know the mechanics of twitter, how you set up a group, and such?


Not so much a group…
…but you have an account (say, at ) and I, at luskwater, might “follow” you. What that would mean is that when you “tweeted” (I hate the verb)—that is, you posted a status entry, like “Planning to paddle Corson’s Inlet, Saturday 8am: 39.21647 -74.64652”

Now, anyone who “followed” you, would see that message on their Twitter home page, or in some program that uses Twitter. They could also register their cell phone with Twitter, and say they want status messages from you sent to their cell phone. That’s when they would get the message saying you were headed for the Atlantic the next morning.

Of course, they would also get a text message when you fed your cat, walked the dog, wished it would start/stop raining, or any of the 1,000 other things people twitter about.

Does that help?

p-net, portable

If it is all individual based, maybe it would not be useful for a paddling event like Raystown. What we really need is a portable, targeted version of the getting-together forum where individuals could post a “shout” to the rest of the group.

Maybe Jeff’s whiteboard is the better idea.


Another interesting way to use this service is to use it as micro updates to an expedition blog. I’ll be using it on my 5 month trip next year.

Where You going next Year , for 5 months?

inquiring minds and all that…

Best Wishes


I’ll be making an announcement as soon as the website is up and running. If you can’t wait, drop me an email.

I think private groups are duable
From what I’ve read, you can set up a private group tweet. Everyone in the group can send messages to the group account that then broadcasts back out to the group. I haven’t personally exercised it. If you want to join twitter we can try setting up a group tweet as an experiment and see how it works. We could use this thread as a communication point until the group tweet is working right.

Twitter is super easy to join. You just supply an email address, password, first name, last name, nickname, if I remember right.

My account:

Here’s some useful links.

Group tweet

Twitter commands

Twitter help

Twitter FAQ

Customer support


hash channels #topic
You can also set up what I think are referred to as hash channels. You simply include #topic in the tweet text. There are ways to filter for #topic. For example, people interested in commenting and tracking on the topic of an upcoming trip in the South Gulf islands, B.C. could simply agree to include #sgbc in their tweets. You can then set up so that all the tweets including #sgbc come to your account. I thought it was simply the command ‘track #topic’ but it hasn’t worked for me. I know people do track these hash channels, though.


I use Twitter
for my political blog. I post short announcements with shortened (tiny url) links to specific articles.

Twitter limits you to 140 characters per message which is why it is called micro blogging.

Raystown is a dead zone for AT&T and T Mobile (they share the same network) so I’m not sure how useful this would be. Jeff and Elaine tried calling me at Raystown but I had no service. I like their whiteboard idea.

Oh, anyone can follow me on Twitter: JohnPMorgan

We use Twitter pretty frequently with our rep agency. with 6 people in different places pretty often, its great for the quick update instead of email, and if your device is web-enabled, there are a few hacks to keep from getting text message charges. Good also for posting when you’ve updated your blog, other blogs or articles that you hear about, random quotes, thoughts, etc. as it doesn’t get filtered out of some email servers like some RSS feeds. We use it for quite a bit, actually.