Well I’ve just installed Chromed Bird to my Google Chrome for the third time and I’m going to give twitter another try. I’ve never really liked Twitter but it seems to be quite popular down here in London and I’ve heard a few of my colleagues mentioning finding out about some fun sounding stuff through it. The problem with twitter for me is that it’s like things that already exist, but worse.
For instance the use of hash tags and trending topics speaks a lot of IRC influences and their use of channels. But the great thing about IRC is context. I’m not sure whether anyone else finds this as annoying as me (maybe they aren’t as nosy) but you can never read someone else’s conversation without switching between two different web pages and scrolling around. Now if you’re just reading a friend’s conversation then you probably are being a bit nosey but if you’re following someone like Stephen Fry, Jonathan Ross, etc then this is surely the point. It’s displayed for everyone, it’s not like it’s a private message just a conversation that’s really really annoying to keep track of. It can also lead to unfortunate circumstances such as people getting arrested for terrorism.
But IRC isn’t as permanent as twitter, with twitter much more like a forum. So there are some advantages to twitter. Although it’s a forum where you can’t say anything meaningful due to the character restriction.
Quite often twitter boils down to people linking to things, like the events I was talking about earlier or blog posts. But we already have technology for that too. They’re called RSS feeds and you can use brilliant software or web pages like Google Reader to read those articles in the first place without the intermediary. Quite a lot of twitter feeds seem to reduce just to this. This isn’t even getting into the bad side where feeds are just paid advertisements by C listers endorsing free cars and products (See previous Private Eyes).
But it’s popular, it has had more media coverage in the last year then you could shake a stick at and I’ve not used it long enough to really form an opinion after use. This is only what I’ve initially felt. Here’s my twitter account so follow me if you’re into that, I’ll try and post a bit more than simply directing here!