Hey, are you on Twitter?
Can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked that in the past month. About a year ago, the question was, “Hey are you on Facebook?
If you listen to the chatter (and it truly is chatter) on Twitter about Twitter by those who Tweet regularly, you’d think Twitter was the second coming of written text. In summary, the gist of what those who love Twitter think, goes something like this.
Hey, isn’t this so great. I can create a login for myself.
And I can send you a short message.
And you can send me a message back.
And other people can follow me, and I can follow other people.
And we can use funny short forms like #tcot.
And we can let someone know that a message is being directed at them by using an @ symbol.
And we can search through all the tweets really easily.
And there are tons of add-ons that make being on Twitter so much better.
And Twitter was amazing at communicating during the Chinese earthquake and other tragic events in recent times.
Yeah, that rocked!!!!
Really? Is this something to get excited about? Here’s a sample of some of the amazing tweets being posted by people.
I just stayed up all night watching fart videos on YouTube with my brother and father. Nice. (link)
Work sux (link)
Aren’t these awesome?
Now, I’m sure you’re saying that I’m cherry picking a few dumb tweets out of the bazillions of amazing tweets posted by intelligent and noteworthy people.
So, not to pick on any of the following people, but here are some recent tweets from some notable denizens of the Twitterverse:
- Guy Kawasaki: @blogdiva Think of me as PBS: there’s always a telethon about to happen. 🙂 (link)
- Robert Scoble: Flickr: Your Photostream http://ff.im/gcMb (link)
- Barack Obama: We just made history. All of this happened because you gave your time, talent and passion. All of this happened because of you. Thanks (link)
Note that the Obama tweet, his most recent one, was posted on Nov. 5. Nothing since then. Also, Obama, Scoble and Kawasaki are amongst the most popular Twitter users, with large numbers of sheep followers.
For those of you too young to remember, before Twitter, there were many ways for you to speak your mind and for a group of interested people to quickly, almost instantly (that’s critical here) know what you were communicating.
The first example of this, was a technology known as YOUR VOICE! Yes, speaking out your thoughts has been known as a good way to let others know what you are thinking.
Voice and speaking remained supreme, almost unassailable for centuries, but then the issue of distance came into play. An early solution for this distance issue was a new technology known as RADIO. Yes, it was a primitive technology that allowed people to project their voice over long distances.
But radio was principally unidirectional. A bidirectional version of radio, known as CB Radio addressed this problem. Like Twitter, you could create cool handles such as “Barracuda” or “Beach Comber” or “Big Bear” or “Southern Sally” to identify yourself. You could tell people what was happening right now, and they could respond back. You could call for help on designated frequencies. Yup, CB truly was incredible.
But, then came the Internet. Anyone remember IRC? You could message other people online in real-time. Things got more sophisticated with ICQ and every successive messenger/chat program from Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL, Skype etc. etc. etc.
So, in the end, there is nothing really new or unique about Twitter. It’s yet another channel for communicating over the Internet. Some people like it and use it, but the vast majority of us don’t.
So don’t ask me if I use Twitter. I don’t. There are at least 10 other ways to contact me and share your ideas and thoughts.
One way is to leave a comment on the blog. If you agree, disagree or have a different perspective, I’d like to hear from you.