Wednesday, March 21, 2007

On Twitter, Twittering and Twits

Any one who spends any serious time on line will have noticed the buzz or conversation about Twitter.

Twitter describes itself as a global community of friends and strangers answering one simple question: What are you doing?

As if I care, as if I want to know, as if it matters. I have to confess I don't get it but I can't help watching it, and it stops me doing other stuff. Too much information!

I suppose its a sort of instant blogging, for those of us that don't have time or the inclination to blog properly. I can see that it could be useful, but right now its not for me.

From the outside it's a sort of instant stalking by consent.
I'm not that connected to want to provide a running dialogue for friends and strangers about my day. Surely what I'm doing doesn't matter to any one else and I shouldn't presume that it does.

Some of my web heroes have twitter accounts and enthuse about its use, others are not so sure.

Educationally, it could have potential in bringing together a group of students / researchers collaborating on a project, but instant messaging could do the same more effectively. I guess its something to watch.

Here's what's happening now, and here are twitters displayed on a map of the world (mesmerising)!

Here are some links to interesting observations about twitter.

Jason Kottke's a fan, I think.
  • "For people with little time, Twitter functions like an extremely stripped-down version of MySpace."
Danah Boyd is not so sure.
  • "It is primarily micro-blogging or group IMing or push away messaging. You write whatever you damn well please and it spams all of the people who agreed to be your friends"
Kathy Sierra wasn't that keen but can't help reading it.
  • "We've all been at the brain bandwidth breaking point for the last five years. Email is out of control. IM'ing sucks up half the day. And how can we not read our RSS feeds, post to our blogs, and check our stats? If my Cingular cell phone sends me a MySpace alert and I'm not there to get it, do I exist? But email, IMs, social networking, and blogs are nothing compared to the thing that may finally cause time as we know it to cease. I'm talking, of course, about Twitter."
Nicholas Carr as ever makes us laugh, but makes such sense.
  • "Like so many other Web 2.0 services, Twitter wraps itself and its users in an infantile language. We're not adults having conversations, or even people sending messages. We're tweeters twittering tweets. We're twitters tweetering twits. We're twits tweeting twitters. We're Tweety Birds."

Like I said at the beginning, I don't get it!

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