18 January 2007

Twitter…rhyming slang or any use..?

“Twitter” we thought. “What the fuck?”

So rather than languish in our own ignorance of the latest social media craze, we thought we’d ask someone who knows about this sort of stuff. This is what he said:

Twitter is already the new black. But, for those of you not wearing black, I will try to explain what Twitter is all about…

Twitter is a new social media web 2.0 phenomenon, for people that want to share (with people that care) what they’re doing now. In essence it’s a blogging, SMS, IM mash-up for those with the attention span of less than 5 seconds (which, as we all know, is now pretty much everyone). Twitter seems to largely be about people saying very little, of very little substance, fairly often – in fact it’s blogging SMS style (posts are limited to a max of about 135 characters). The idea is that you can update your Twitter page in a various ways: directly online, by IM and by Text and your ‘followers’ (yes ‘followers’…very biblical – as you’ll see Brucey baby even has a following) can choose to receive your updates via the same medium…crazy, I know.

So why should TWL care? Well, perhaps you shouldn’t, but it does seem that many people are now “Twitting” and, as ever, the technology marketing and journalist digerati (i.e. readers of your popular gossip blog) are at the forefront of such things. As well as communicating with these early adopters you can now even sign up to follow Twitters from the likes of the BBC and CNN (although there is some debate at present as to whether this is actually Auntie being all ‘down-with-the-kids’ or just overly keen Twitters fiddling with news feeds). You can even sign up to follow spoof Twitters, should you so desire, from the likes of Condoleezza Rice.

As by way of understanding (or at least attempting to) here are some of the great Twitter posts from our Twitting friends:

Scoble: Back from BillG. 45 minute interview, it's always fun to chat with Bill, but now onto other fun PodTech things. Call me if you want into BlogHaus 01:26 PM January 07, 2007 from web

Justin Hayward: discovered fantastic adapter to broadcast my MP3 tunes to the car stereo, saving about £150! Nice... 04:33 PM January 13, 2007 from web

Justin Westcott: thinking that i might have signed up for a few too many BBC twitter feeds 10:54 AM January 15, 2007 from im

Bruce: Ah the joy of working at home - no tube, no buses, no jams. 07:51 PM January 15, 2007 from mobile

Drew B: Anyone else been invited to the opening of Mood Supperclub in Hollywood ? Don't think I'll be able to make it :-) 07:15 AM January 17, 2007 from im

Any clearer? Probably not.

So is Twitter the new Blogger? Maybe. Can we expect a wave of articles in National media talking about Twitter addiction? Very likely. Will PR folk be busy devising new ways of engaging with this fast growing Twitter community, developing and selling to clients Twitter communication products and at the very least pretending to know what the hell it is all about? More than likely. If that’s the case I hope this helped. Happy Twitting.

So, as far as we can tell, it’s a way for people that for some reason think you might give a shit telling you what they’re doing for pretty much every minute of the day. Crikey, and we thought blogging was ego-driven.

Of course, our man pulled out some of the more “interesting” nuggets that people have…you know…oh Christ how I don’t want to say this…umm…”Twitted”…but of course most of them are really, really dull things like this:

Think I’ll have a cup of tea

Better get on with some work

Need a pooh

On the bus

Going to bed

And it’s really dangerous, because you get things like this:

Gosh this Twitter’s addictive, I can't concentrate on anything I need to do for my client Cisco. Oh well, I'll still bill the time to them

And that character limit is frustrating, ‘cause you get stuff like this:

I am supposed to be writing a briefing document for Larry Ellison’s trip over but I can’t be arsed, so I’ve been surfing the internet – now I think I’ll nip off for a wa

So again…Twitter. What the fuck?

Twatter more like.


Anonymous said...

Good call TWL. I do look a right tw*t-ter don't I? Thanks for the public shaming - it helps re-set the old ego the the right levels again!

Nobody Special said...

LOL :)

Keep it up, my fine busing friend.

Fiona Blamey said...

Ah, in the good old days (last week), I used to recognise everyone on Twitter. It was like a secret club of latte-snorting, Hot Chip-listening technocrats. Now look at it, completely overrun with hoi polloi. Er, sic transit.

Anonymous said...

Is it me, or do the people who use applications like Twitter look like they need to get out more, meet other people, take up a sport that burns calories, perhaps develop their conversational skills in a face-to-face environment? Dunno, could just be me I suppose.

Mary Branscombe said...

On the one hand, there's nothing you can honestly say on Twitter apart from 'I'm posting to twitter'.
On the other hand my husband posted to twitter from the queue to get into the Rutherford Grill and got a reminder to order the best dish on the menu which we'd have forgotten otherwise. I want Twitter to grab the salient information from the rest of my system - with permission, obviously - and publish my presence information that way, not by hand...