I'm usually one of the first to try out new social media sites and new technologies, but Twitter, I just didn't get. I thought, that it was just IM messages shot into the "cloud" with no recipients. I just didn't get it….
While attending Izeafest 2008 in Orlando, there were screens all over utilizing the Twitter API, to pull "tweets" related to the event. How eff'n cool. Seeing it as an immediate response, multi-user threaded discussion, it made sense.
Twitter fills the void between email and IM. Email does not effectively support group "conversations". It works well as point to point, or point-to-many communication. Additionally, it does not effectively keep the conversation active, as an email discussion can cross many days or weeks.
Instant Messaging is the exact polar opposite. It requires your immediate attention within a group conversation or you quickly are lost to it.
Both email and IM do not facilitate new participants to a conversation, "getting up to speed", due to not being included in the earlier threads.
Twitter allows for that happy medium, group conversations over time and immediate request/response. Users tweet when they can contribute to "the conversation", or they can mindlessly update their followers on their bowel movements. Twitter's search and conversation threading, in addition to its API, facilitates both, while not becoming that thing you have to stay in tune with 24/7. It also allows people to "catch up" with a conversation, when they join late.
"Hi. I'm Joe, and I'm a new Twitterer"…now if I could only convince everyone else of its value!
Be looking for Twitter integration into the applications I've developed….I have a ton of ideas.
Twitter Goes Mainstream [WSJ]