In all the buzz over new media, social media, Web 2.0 (fill in the buzz words), there is something that has been really lacking. Sure the various social services out there make a valid attempt at addressing real-time interaction, but the strength of IM has remained the strength of IM – instantaneous.
Recently, the most simplistic, yet so powerful service, Twitter emerged on the scene with one purpose. It’s not to make business connections. It’s not to find like minded companions or to reconnect friends of interest. No, the service is designed with one goal in mind and that is to tell the world “what I’m doing right now”.
If you’re like me, you thought, nifty but useless. Like 43things. Nifty. Totally useless. Especially for business.
However, I’ve been paying attention to Scoble as he has been using Twitter for some time now. He has posted some very entertaining things about it, but in the end my verdict has always been: Nifty, yet useless.
Then someone posted yesterday, I thought it was Scoble, and commented that he uses Twitter because it gives him an eye inside the mind of early adopters. Now that is useful. So I set up my account and to be honest, it’s addicting.
Yes, on the surface it is posting about what I’m doing right now. However, Twitter has provided a number of useful public-facing methods that allow Twitter’rs to engage in the service using Instant Message (AIM, Gtalk, .Mac, Livejournal or the open Jabber protocol) as well as via text messaging from your phone. And with an open API, I’m even able to engage the system using any number of tools such as TwitterPost.
Now suddenly, the social networking paradigm has become instantaneous in a way that other services haven’t.
Already this morning, a number of the people I have chosen to follow (they may not even know – the service is that passive and non-invasive) are carrying on a variety of conversations on a level I’ve not seen in simple IM, nor on social networking sites.
And of course, there is a whole Twitter Optimization (like Search Engine Optimization) that can be used to drive traffic and promote stories. I expect sooner or later, we’ll start seeing spam.
Twitter me This, Twitter me that. Do you Twitter? If you do, feel free to add me as a friend, and I’ll return the favor.