To Twitter or not to Twitter?

March 21, 2007 at 10:44 pm (places, politics, web 2.0)

I can’t decide whether Twitter is the next big thing or the next of the latest and greatest Web 2.0 technologies to bite the proverbial dust. It seems like the natural progression of blogging—a universal blog that everyone can contribute to. But, there’s not necessarily the same amount of thought put into contributing. It’s more like a non-synchronous chat. It reminds me of the game telephone (you start with “President Bush should rethink his foreign policy” and end up with “Messing with tusking shook peering fusion peas”). Is it a conversation? Not really—more like pining something on a bulleting board. But why pin something when you have nothing to say, necessarily?

Then again, it can be entertaining—much in the way reality television is—predictable, but still like watching a car wreck; everyone else is slowing down to look, why not me? It gives us concourse to the world, and, unlike a lot of mainstream media, gives us others we can directly identify with. After all, if we are looking at Twitter, we have been drawn in by the spectacle of it, and reading it, you can see people just like yourself, or who remind you of your own experiences. This comment reminded me of my time at UT Austin (if you’ve spent time in Texas, you’ll understand). Vicarious nostalgia. On the other hand, it can also confirm your schema of the world—someone from San Fran who likes Bikram yoga and chai lattes for example. Nothing wrong with it, just nice to reflect on. And let us not forget the advantage of the virtual-being-there; I couldn’t be at SXSW (more Austin nostalgia), but I knew what was happening there, moment to moment, because of Twitterers.

I suppose it could go either way at this point. Blogging takes a lot of dedication, but Twitter has random charm—I offer no predictions. Except that I don’t think John Edwards will be elected—just a hunch.


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