Last week I listened as Chuck explained Twitter to someone whom has never heard of it, and he essentially explained at as being a consolidated version of blogging. I however up until then would always explain twitter as being a disconnected version of Instant Messenger (simply due to the reply approach) – yet – both could be argued as being correct.
This got me thinking a little on what Twitter is truly hinting at, and why I guess it’s popular. At MIX07 I was at a Silverlight party, talking to John Udell about it and I argued that all successful Web 2.0 applications have a hint of silliness about them, and that in turn is why it makes them successful. As when you think about it, take one of the foundation pieces of the Web 2.0 world – GMAPS.
Here we have human beings, jumping online to find directions or gain a keyhole look into the world from above. We memorize as best we can the directions, we then embark on our journey and half-way along, we forget the way points we memorized (well I’d argue majority do anyway). How stupid is this concept, but it’s not as it hint’s at potential goodness.
Twitter, is a classic for me. As last night I had my left big toe nail removed by a doctor, and via my Black Jack phone, I was able to twitter a minute by minute account of the experience and folks were interacting. It was actually quite helpful, as it was extremely painful experience but I was laughing at some of the twitter comments. Why! Why on earth would anyone want to subscribe to this line of conversation! and more to the point what were people thinking as I typed my “The Doctors back, she has needles!!!”
Blogs today have kind of lost their way thanks to aggregators (we adjust our blogs based on what mainstream aggregators will listen). They have taken on a whole new life from the early days when I’d read “Ping” files from programmers at id Software about what they were up to. Today, it’s to structured, we have an apparent etiquette how we blog, so much so Tim O`Reilly & Co are looking to formulate some rules and standards of practice (I unsubscribe from this as I dislike it’s very existence)..
Point is, I like Twitter as it’s chaos, it’s a way of publishing thoughts online in under 140 characters and no rules. People don’t like it, don’t subscribe! – just like blogs, you don’t like it, don’t read!.. If you don’t like someone’s comments, delete them! We are heading in the wrong direction with blogs, and I for one hope concepts like Twitter give birth to the next generation of blogging.
I love my twitter.