Monday, March 26, 2007

Why don't you Twitter?

In case you missed it, there's a new Web 2.0 craze making the rounds: Twitter, a social networking service which allows you to post short dispatches from your browser, instant messenger, or even your cell phone. Posts are instantly broadcast to anyone who subscribes to them in their preferred method of delivery, making Twitter a real-time method of communication regardless of the platform. Since the format is intentionally truncated - 140 characters or less - Twitter encourages rapid-fire posts and is thus best suited for updates on the fly.

Not surprisingly there's been a lot of skepticism about the whole Twitter thing, not just from the Old Media (which reflexively hates on anything which threatens its hegemony, a la a recent article in the WSJ which went out of its way to knock both social networking and Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards) but from the established powers of the blogosphere as well - Wil Wheaton wonders what the point of it is, although that hasn't stopped him or someone impersonating him from creating a Twitter account - along with a coterie of 69 followers waiting for him post something!

I think this lack of interest may be a function of one's ability to blog in an unfettered capacity, as what Twitter does is enable someone who might otherwise be inclined to blog if not for his or her daily constraints of work and life to blog nonetheless, albeit in attenuated form. Perhaps my newfound obsession with Twitter would be less intense were I not so busy these days that blogging has become a rare luxury for me? I like to joke that Twitter is the crack cocaine of blogging, but maybe it's actually more like methadone - a way to get your fix, when the real thing ain't forthcoming.

At any rate, Twitter is worth a second look, especially for those of us in library-land.

(And if you feel like stalking someone, I'm oodja)

UPDATE: The folks at The Joy of Tech give us an amusing summary of "what not to tweet about on Twitter".

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