The world's first tweet was short and perfunctory and notable both for its lack of punctuation and its lack of capitalization. It was sent by Jack Dorsey, nearly eight years ago today:
just setting up my twttr— Jack Dorsey (@jack) March 21, 2006
As more and more people signed up for Twitter, more first tweets would emerge. Some would be, like Dorsey's, brief and un-punctuated and vaguely meta in their reference to Twitter. Others would sidestep the "Hey! Now I'm on Twitter!" stuff and plunge right into the brave new world of 140-character life updates.
I know this because of a new tool launched today, First Tweet, which lets you track Twitter users' first posting to the platform. The results are often delightful, often comical, and occasionally ... humbling. Many are professional in tone. Some embrace the freewheeling-life-update aspect of the platform.
Take the first tweets of your correspondents here at The Atlantic Tech. Mine (I wrote for the Columbia Journalism Review when I signed up for the service) was purely professional, treating Twitter as a platform for broadcasting and crowdsourcing:
We're talking Cheney over at CJR. What should Jim Lehrer ask the Veep in tomorrow's NewsHour exit interview? http://tinyurl.com/7upbjc— Megan Garber (@megangarber) January 14, 2009
Alexis's was similarly down-to-business:
Just signed up for Twitter. Beginning journalism experiment for Wired. Looking for scientists, policy experts, and researchers.— Alexis C. Madrigal (@alexismadrigal) December 12, 2007
Rob, on the other hand, went full life-update:
It's 81 degrees outside. 81 Degrees.— Robinson Meyer (@yayitsrob) March 27, 2007
It's a milkshake day.— Robinson Meyer (@yayitsrob) March 27, 2007
To be clear, none of us are particularly proud of these first forays into the world of microblogging. The only person, we agree, whose first tweet passes the test of time is our executive editor, John Gould—who managed to combine the personal and the professional and the meta into one glorious message. Bow before this, everyone:
I will destroy this twitter.— J.J. Gould (@jj_gould) May 5, 2009