Tweeting and the mainstream
June 7, 2009 at 11:19 am #73493
IMO a very good, if rather lengthy (~3500 words) article on the current state of Twitter from Time magazine...
Friday, Jun. 05, 2009
How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live
By Steven Johnson
The one thing you can say for certain about Twitter is that it makes a terrible first impression. You hear about this new service that lets you send 140-character updates to your "followers," and you think, Why does the world need this, exactly? It's not as if we were all sitting around four years ago scratching our heads and saying, "If only there were a technology that would allow me to send a message to my 50 friends, alerting them in real time about my choice of breakfast cereal."
I, too, was skeptical at first. I had met Evan Williams, Twitter's co-creator, a couple of times in the dotcom '90s when he was launching Blogger.com. Back then, what people worried about was the threat that blogging posed to our attention span, with telegraphic, two-paragraph blog posts replacing long-format articles and books. With Twitter, Williams was launching a communications platform that limited you to a couple of sentences at most. What was next? Software that let you send a single punctuation mark to describe your mood? (See the top 10 ways Twitter will change American business.)
And yet as millions of devotees have discovered, Twitter turns out to have unsuspected depth. In part this is because hearing about what your friends had for breakfast is actually more interesting than it sounds. The technology writer Clive Thompson calls this "ambient awareness": by following these quick, abbreviated status reports from members of your extended social network, you get a strangely satisfying glimpse of their daily routines. We don't think it at all moronic to start a phone call with a friend by asking how her day is going. Twitter gives you the same information without your even having to ask.
June 8, 2009 at 3:17 am #73495
I've been using Twitter for one year now. The platform continues its attraction for me. It is useful in many ways, not only as a source of real time news and information, but also just to connect with others that I would not have done otherwise. Twitter also helps me keep in contact with friends and work associates.
Twitters stickiness is down to the ease of connecting with others, self-expression and sharing. In the last 24 hours:
- clicked through to a blip.fm video of a David Bowie hit that I had not seen before
- tweeted with a tweep who had direct experience of the Victorian bushfires last January
- noticed that Kevin Rudd, the Australian Prime Minister, had took time out with his family - good to see.
So Twitter is enhancing and enriching.
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