If you have not heard of Twitter, where have you been? To some people its mindless noise and a drain on productivity. Kathy Sierra says, it’s raised the distraction factor to new heights. Cameron Adams sees it as a measure of coolness or not. Or maybe its just basically a social networking web / mobile phone / IM based IRC service that allows you to answer one question “what are you doing”.
I can blame Sarah Issacson for tempting me onto twitter. For all its down sides Twitter has been good in allowing me personally to discover new software, blogs, and generally new work procedures. Not all of these are useful, some were a waste of time, others were nuggets of gold. You take the good with the bad.
Why is Twitter successful? Is it the fact that its more than a IRC; as Ben Buchanan suggests it’s the fact that its web or IM based, you don’t have to focus on the window concerned you can come back in a few hours and review the last few entries. It doesn’t take your full attention, unless you let it. You can choose to read only the posts from the people you trust. So it has an element of trust and community. The interesting thing is in most cases (it seems) people only befriend (read posts) from people they have met in person, or are recommended by people they know in person.
What are they doing with it?
The really interesting aspect of twitter is what people are doing with it. One of the innovators is Gian Sampson-Wild who has started doing Twitter Tours of Melbourne Australia. This entails Gian twittering; describing what she is observing or looking at as she is walking around. This is conducted live on Twitter. And later supplemented with photographs (taken at the time) and a route map on her blog. Not really rocket science, but it’s the concept of using Twitter to go out and share an experience.