In the last three days I have added Twitter to my blog, Facebook, BlackBerry and Firefox bookmarks. You can send a Twitter message, or "Tweet," from any of your registered devices or webpages.
So far Twitter has not changed my life. I was hoping to be able to quote “Sam” (Natalie Portman’s character), who famously said in the movie Garden State that The Shins "will change your life." Sorry, not this time, but Twitter is cool.
The buzz around Twitter is significant among the “highly mobile-Web 2.0” or “mobile Web” crowd. It’s like a new form of instant messaging about tiny chapters in your life. The Twitter website says it’s a “social networking and microblogging service utilizing instant messaging, SMS or a web interface” that answers the question, “What are you doing?” Every time you see something interesting on the Internet or in life, you Tweet it. It’s very ephemeral.
The buzz around Twitter has invited rabid technology comparisons (some say it is a microblog, others say it is SMS, or IM, or a Web 2.0 communications vehicle). I think it’s most like IM from a communications standpoint because you are sending a short messages to a public audience through a small text box by pressing the submit button. This is one of its strengths. Also, there have been a lot of blog posts written about it (see here and here) and discussions at Web 2.0 events. There's a “newbie’s guide to Twitter” here. Twitterholic tracks the top 100 Twitter users here. And so on.
Here are two weird things: The heaviest Twitters in the Boston area are PR people. This has no doubt contributed to the buzz. Also, the demographic for Twitter is not the classic F-book crowd. It’s an older demographic. (See Chris’ blog post for more data.)
Suffice to say that I like Twitter because it informs a whole bunch of people who I care about and who care about me. I also like it because it is the next cool thang.