Because of Twitter, I now am regularly apprised on Australian politics and weather (especially Melbourne), activities in the Philosophy department at Leeds University, Preston weather, the late-night Stockholm bar scene, running and science teaching in Britain and the latest research in exercise physiology. And, of course, running shoes and other gear.
The process of connecting to people on Twitter is weird. It's kind of like playing the telephone game, but able to see the route the conversation takes and how it morphs along the way.
Here's an example of how I connected with an author (who's book I am currently reading). I follow @fxdgear. The dude is a goof-extraordinaire and has a curious affinity to facial hair and beer. Regardless, I'm related, so I kind have to, ya know? He is connected to @MeghanHicks, I liked her comments on his timeline and posts about ultra running (something I wish I could do), so I followed her. She tweeted a link to a blog post. It looked interesting, so I read it. Inside, I noticed a photo credit for a name I recognized. I asked her - via Twitter - if it was the person I knew (it was a possibility, but a slim one).
Turns out it wasn't, but in the exchange, she involved that person in our conversation. A few glances down his timeline, and a few 140-character convos between us later, I'm following @anaginghipster. We chat, I read, and discover he is involved with an author. I figure, what the heck, I'll give the book a read. Sure enough, I'm enjoying the crap out of the book and have since been in Twitter-contact with the author, @TammySalyer. Between reading her book(s) and tweets, and Brent Weeks' tweets and books, I'm getting the urge to write again - something that I've successfully repressed for a couple of decades.
I am really enjoying the interactions I have with the ever-expanding group of people in my slime-mold pathways. I don't know if it would be as intimate-feeling with follower/following lists in the thousands - or even hundreds. But at this point, the sense of community I get from people across the globe is warm and fuzzy. A nice contrast to the cold, dark, pricklies of the winter weather.