- 15 Mar 09, 05:15 GMT
Twitter might not be everyone's cup of tea - indeed there are complaints that it is going into information overload here at SXSW - but one journalist has used it to help him travel thousands of miles in just 14 days.
Paul Smith is the Twitchhiker and has used Twitter to travel from his home to Newcastle to Austin, Texas, only by connecting to people on the messaging service and using it to leverage people's generosity and good will.
At the start of March Smith left Newcastle with only a ferry ticket to Amsterdam in his hand - and that was arranged through Twitter.
He cannot plan more than three days in advance and has to leave each location within 48 hours of arriving.
His plan is to try and make it to the opposite point on the globe from his home. As his website says: "New Zealand is the place closest to the opposite point on the planet to my house, so that should be my intended destination.
"Actually, the closest landmass is at 52.546° S 169.173° E, an island barely five miles wide that's so insignificant that Google can't be bothered to name it."
After a few days zig-zagging around the low countries he managed to get a flight to New York and has since endured a number of road trips through the American mid west before making it to South by SouthWest in Austin, Texas.
He is raising money for Charity: Water as he goes, but he told me this was as much about 'the experience' as it was anything else.
When I tracked him down - which isn't hard as he is tagged with GPS and you can follow him on Google Latitude - he had just heard that he was going to be interviewed by Good Morning America on ABC TV in the US and that he had secured a flight to San Francisco.
"I'll probably hang around the West Coast for a while before I can get a flight to New Zealand," he said.
For a man who has lived and breathed planes, trains and automobiles for the last 14 days he is in fine fettle and enormously good spirits.
After the Good Morning America interview is screened tomorrow he will probably be a celebrity in the US and I wouldn't bet against him reaching that small island off New Zealand ahead of the 30 day limit.
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