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Posted on Apr 25, 2008 in International, Technology

I guess Twitter does have a purpose?

Of all of the new online social networking technologies that have been developed in the last three years, the one that I have been the most apprehensive towards trying is Twitter.

For those who aren’t familiar with Twitter, or its concept, it’s basically a short-form blog that allows you to keep your friends, network, etc updated with what you’re doing with a just few words; the updates are comparable to the size of a text message.

Twitter is popular amongst bloggers because it allows them to share short messages with their friends and readers from their cell phones, giving them the ability to sometimes break a story as its happening.

However, it hasn’t been something that has really had all that much appeal to me. But, as I saw on CNN today, it might just be the tool to help you out of a tight spot, assuming you have the right network:

James Karl Buck helped free himself from an Egyptian jail with a one-word blog post from his cell phone.

Buck, a graduate student from the University of California-Berkeley, was in Mahalla, Egypt, covering an anti-government protest when he and his translator Mohammed Maree were arrested April 10.On his way to the police station, Buck took out his cell phone and sent a message to his friends and contacts using the micro-blogging site Twitter.
The message only had one word. “Arrested.

Within seconds, colleagues in the United States and his blogger-friends in Egypt — the same ones who had taught him the tool only a week earlier — were alerted he was being held.

While it’s kind of a cool story, I don’t think that anyone should expect to be able to do that when in custody of policy in the United States.

Twitting in cuffs… maybe it’ll be a new trend.