A Great Twitter Experience

Posted in personal, web at 10:50 am by danvk

As danvk.org regulars know, I recently joined Twitter. I had a great experience with it last weekend and came away feeling as though I’d “seen the future”.

I ran into Tyler Hinman last weekend at a friend’s Oscars party. Tyler’s claim to fame was that he’d won the American Crosssword Puzzle Tournament the previous four years, starting in 2005 when the movie Wordplay was filmed. Tyler played a major role in that movie.

Tyler told us that he’d be trying to make it five times in a row the next weekend. So, come the weekend, I was curious to see how he did.

After one day of competition, the official results page showed Tyler in fourth with one puzzle left before the finals. If you’ve seen Wordplay, you know that fourth place is a bad spot to find yourself. Only the top three finishers qualify for the finals.

On Sunday, the standard news sources weren’t helpful. A crossword tournament is not exactly front-page material. The official tournament page hadn’t been updated. Even the bloggers would take another few days to tell the story. So I tried Twitter.

I searched for #acpt and saw these two results:

Tim-boone-tristin_normal boonebgorges: Congrats on the fivepeat to Tyler Hinman, and nice work to Francis and Trip for a valiant final round! #acpt
Bzbz2_normal bgzimmer: #acpt The thrilling conclusion of the crossword tourney, now on YouTube: http://tinyurl.com/dzx5uw

Not only did I immediately get the bit of news I wanted, I also got to watch it on video!

I’m not saying this is a great way to get news in general. A crossword puzzle tournament is more likely draw the twitterers than most events. But just consider that this would not have been possible even one year ago.