One of the most interesting things about the Internet is its impact on the evolution of language, turning verbs into nouns and nouns into verbs (ala “Facebook” me). A more recent emerging trend of web 2.0 technologies doing just that is Twitter, a simple service that allows you to communicate quick and concise messages to your “followers” – friends, family and co-workers – about what you are doing. You can now Twis or Twoogle with Tweeple all day and night (not my words. You can get your own at Twitter glossary)
More interesting than “what” is “why” Twitter? As the site says, “Because even basic updates are meaningful to family members, friends, or colleagues – especially when they’re timely. Eating soup? Research shows that moms want to know…”
Though I don’t think it will take me 10 years to latch on to this trend (i.e. how long it took me to take up blogging), “microblogging” is going to have to evolve past its hyper-connected, information overload, time sucking, egocentricity before I add another tool to my box. To be fair though, here are some “tweets” about Twitter in true Twitter form, which limits all messages to 140 characters. What do you think? Over hyped or exactly what you’re looking for?
- Launched in Oct ’06, many point to last year’s SXSW conference for its take off. More info & useful links from Mark Glaser & DoshDosh
- In Jan ’08 Twitter reported just over 750,000 registered users with 3,399 new users daily (for sake of comparison, Facebook has 250,000).
- “…its status & image has been upgraded from toy to tool – can [it] ‘leap from’ a small, enthusiastic group of tech-savvy people to the mainstream.” ‘ Mark Evans
- “A hybrid of chat, social networking and blogging,” it’s built on the attraction to community, need to be social and desire to matter.
- Pres. candidates are twittering “the new reality of Campaign 2.0, where web-savvy campaigns are trying to attach themselves to as many social networking sites as possible.” (ABC)
- Even if you don’t use it to chat, there are a number of practical uses of short, concise messages like RemembertheMilk.com
- “…as with most Internet phenomena, users hacked [it] into something completely different – place I turn to if I need a quick question answered…”‘ Patrick Ruffini at TechPresident
- “Twitter hate is the new black – [though haters] do have a good point. Do you really need to know that I’m eating a tuna sandwich for lunch? Probably not…” Robert Scoble, a top Twitterer with almost 7,000 followers
- “…intriguing, useful & addictive for those who live on the move. One observer called it “the Seinfeld of the internet…a website about nothing.” The Guardian
- “More than a status app, it is being used as a 1st alert mechanism for the dissemination of news & for immediate discussion surrounding [it].” Josh Catone, ReadWriteWeb
- Is it worth it? “the average Twitter user lists six to 12 “friends” on the site and choose to receive cell phone updates from three friends.” (ABC)
- ‘[it's] different from other e-tools. “When u get an email, you have to respond to it, but with Twitter, there’s no expectation of a response.” ‘ Twitter founder Biz Stone
- “…has turned distraction into an art form. It’s like hanging out at a bar with a bunch of interesting people…& forgetting that you have to go home.” Scott Karp
- “…inability to immediately embrace Twitter means you’re old…Admitting you don’t ‘get’ [it] is like admitting you can’t hear those specialized ring tones only audible to the young.” – Helen A.S. Popkin, MSNBC