Monday, April 13, 2009

Twitter: the Conclusion

Mere days after starting out on the latest Web 2.0 phenomenon Twitter, I'm about ready to call it quits, and depreciate the Lownewulf feed.

For those who don't know, Twitter is similar to a blog, except posts are limited to 140 characters. Those who have Twitter "follow" people they're interested in, and can themselves be followed. News outlets, businesses, stars and others have all started 'tweeting' of late, allowing fans and interested parties to get up-to-the-second news about the people and events that interest them.

It's a nice idea. The simplistic interface is a reminder of the glory days of Google, where a title and a textbox is all a site needed to rule the web. The easy SMS integration encourages mobile use by a generation raised by text message. By limiting the length of messages, they encourage both brevity and frequent updates.

Unfortunately, it is also the delivery vehicle of the worst of what the blogging model had to offer. Its very design presupposes a desire to discuss the minutiae of one's life, and in turn hear the same from hundreds of others. While it's possible that wisest thinkers could say something more meaningful in 140 characters than I could present in a doctoral thesis, the more common case is John Smith telling the world that he's having meatloaf for dinner. This is exactly the anti-mission of my blog (though how well I've held to this is a debate of itself).

In the end, Facebook is a strict superset of Twitter; and some would argue with the latest update, like it or not, purposely mirroring Twitter's core concepts. The difference being with Facebook, that I can share pictures, have organized discussion threads... even post this blog post! All with a far more refined user experience than Twitter was able to deliver from their main website. Plus, I have a network of hundreds that I'm unlikely to ever match on Twitter.

So, back to Facebook, at least for now.

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