Have you tried Twitter yet? If you don't know what it is, it's "microblogging," where you get 140 characters per post to answer the question, "What are you doing?"
I know, it doesn't sound all that appealing at first. It also sounds like it could be incredibly time-consuming, which is why I hesitated to join for quite some time. I ended up signing up right around SXSWi this year and was immediately consumed with jealousy that so many Twitter users were there and having a great time while I was at home (sick, actually, so I wouldn't have enjoyed myself there anyway).
The way Twitter works is that you follow the posts, or "Tweets," of people of interest. In my case, that includes people I know, people whose blogs I read, and miscellaneous bloggers and celebrities I think might be interesting, like @MCHammer and @LeoLaporte, for instance. There are also companies online, like @southwestair. Twitter users you follow can choose to follow you or not. Right now I am following 142 people and I have 152 followers.
You can post your own Tweets about whatever crosses your mind and also respond publicly or privately (when it's working properly) to other Twitter users by addressing your response to the person's user name with the "@" sign in front of it.
It's basically like broadcasting an instant message to a select group of people and it allows for interactions that would never take place any other way.
For example, I recently Tweeted that I was looking for someone to go to lunch with. @cadykansas, whom I had met only once before in real life, responded and we ended up meeting up and having a very nice lunch and chat. (Admittedly, the next time I tried that lunch companion recruiting tactic it didn't pan out.)
Just this weekend, @deew27 Tweeted that she had an extra Wii that she wanted to sell. I went and picked it up from her on Sunday.
This coming Friday, there's a Tweetup planned in Kansas City with @QueenofSpain. I watched the planning process bounce around on Twitter until eventually it transpired that the event will be held at my company's office. If you live in Kansas City and want to meet Erin Kotecki-Vest, let me know and I'll pass along the details. Oh, and be sure to sign up with Twitter so you don't miss these things in the future!
Twitter is not without its drawbacks. It crashes...a lot. Its functionality has been reduced for days now, and you never know when it might be down completely. There's also been an issue with their enforcement of their Terms of Service.
Still, it's a cool way to communicate online and I hope they manage to work out the bugs as they become more and more popular. If you belong or you end up joining, add me! I'm @average_jane.