Why Twitter Will Endure

Published in Twitter
Rate this item
(0 votes)

I can remember when I first thought seriously about Twitter. Last March, I was at the SXSW conference, a conclave in Austin, Tex., where technology, media and music are mashed

up and re-imagined, and, not so coincidentally, where Twitter first rolled out in 2007. As someone who was oversubscribed on Facebook, overwhelmed by the computer-generated RSS feeds of news that came flying at me, and swamped by incoming e-mail messages, the last thing I wanted was one more Web-borne intrusion into my life.

And then there was the name. Twitter.

In the pantheon of digital nomenclature — brands within a sector of the economy that grew so fast that all the sensible names were quickly taken — it would be hard to come up with a noun more trite than Twitter. It impugns itself, promising something slight and inconsequential, yet another way to make hours disappear and have nothing to show for it. And just in case the noun is not sufficiently indicting, the verb, “to tweet” is even more embarrassing.

Beyond the dippy lingo, the idea that something intelligent, something worthy of mindshare, might occur in the space of 140 characters — Twitter’s parameters were set by what would fit in a text message on a phone — seems unlikely.

But it was clear that at the conference, the primary news platform was Twitter, with real-time annotation of the panels on stage and critical updates about what was happening elsewhere at a very hectic convention. At 52, I succumbed, partly out of professional necessity.

And now, nearly a year later, has Twitter turned my brain to mush? No, I’m in narrative on more things in a given moment than I ever thought possible, and instead of spending a half-hour surfing in search of illumination, I get a sense of the day’s news and how people are reacting to it in the time that it takes to wait for coffee at Starbucks. Yes, I worry about my ability to think long thoughts — where was I, anyway? — but the tradeoff has been worth it.

Some time soon, the company won’t say when, the 100-millionth person will have signed on to Twitter to follow and be followed by friends and strangers. That may sound like a MySpace waiting to happen — remember MySpace? — but I’m convinced Twitter is here to stay.

And I’m not alone.

“The history of the Internet suggests that there have been cool Web sites that go in and out of fashion and then there have been open standards that become plumbing,” said Steven Johnson, the author and technology observer who wrote a seminal piece about Twitter for Time last June. “Twitter is looking more and more like plumbing, and plumbing is eternal.”

Really? What could anyone possibly find useful in this cacophony of short-burst communication?

Well, that depends on whom you ask, but more importantly whom you follow. On Twitter, anyone may follow anyone, but there is very little expectation of reciprocity. By carefully curating the people you follow, Twitter becomes an always-on data stream from really bright people in their respective fields, whose tweets are often full of links to incredibly vital, timely information.

The most frequent objection to Twitter is a predictable one: “I don’t need to know someone is eating a donut right now.” But if that someone is a serious user of Twitter, she or he might actually be eating the curmudgeon’s lunch, racing ahead with a clear, up-to-the-second picture of an increasingly connected, busy world. The service has obvious utility for a journalist, but no matter what business you are in, imagine knowing what the thought leaders in your industry were reading and considering. And beyond following specific individuals, Twitter hash tags allow you to go deep into interests and obsession: #rollerderby, #physics, #puppets and #Avatar, to name just a few of many thousands.

The act of publishing on Twitter is so friction-free — a few keystrokes and hit send — that you can forget that others are out there listening. I was on a Virgin America cross-country flight, and used its wireless connection to tweet about the fact that the guy next to me seemed to be the leader of a cult involving Axe body spray. A half-hour later, a steward approached me and said he wondered if I would be more comfortable with a seat in the bulkhead. (He turned out to be a great guy, but I was doing a story involving another part of the company, so I had to decline the offer. @VirginAmerica, its corporate Twitter account, sent me a message afterward saying perhaps it should develop a screening process for Axe. It was creepy and comforting all at once.)

Like many newbies on Twitter, I vastly overestimated the importance of broadcasting on Twitter and after a while, I realized that I was not Moses and neither Twitter nor its users were wondering what I thought. Nearly a year in, I’ve come to understand that the real value of the service is listening to a wired collective voice.

Last modified on Domingo, 18 Setembro 2011 09:48
Super User

Many folks involved in social media are so ADD driven to the latest social network, they fail to fully explore and make use of the networks that they are already part of.

Website: www.joomshaper.com

137908 comments

  • Comment Link Roseanna Domingo, 29 Maio 2016 05:39 posted by Roseanna

    Good post. I certainly love this site. Keep writing!

  • Comment Link Fran Domingo, 29 Maio 2016 05:35 posted by Fran

    If some one needs expert view concerning running a blog after that i propose him/her to pay a quick visit
    this weblog, Keep up the good job.

  • Comment Link Denese Domingo, 29 Maio 2016 05:34 posted by Denese

    So you, as the restorer, have to set realistic goals as to
    exactly what parts of the car you are going to restore to their original states and
    what parts of the car you are willing to restore
    "as close as possible" to their original states.

    Strict standards and excellence in service is what made
    Cullitons the premiere limo service of choice for thousands of Torontonians
    as well as visiting guests from all over the world.

    Listed here are some interesting facts about Mercedes-Benz.

  • Comment Link Chanda Domingo, 29 Maio 2016 05:17 posted by Chanda

    I don't even understand how I finished up right here, however I thought this submit
    was good. I do not realize who you're but definitely you're going to a
    well-known blogger if you happen to are not already.
    Cheers!

  • Comment Link Alberto Domingo, 29 Maio 2016 05:10 posted by Alberto

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.
    I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that,
    this is excellent blog. A great read. I'll definitely be back.

  • Comment Link Brandie Domingo, 29 Maio 2016 05:05 posted by Brandie

    Hi, I would like to subscribe for this web site to take newest updates,
    therefore where can i do it please assist.

  • Comment Link Brigitte Domingo, 29 Maio 2016 05:01 posted by Brigitte

    Thank you for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts
    and I will be waiting for your further write ups thank you once again.

  • Comment Link las vegas wedding venues Domingo, 29 Maio 2016 04:45 posted by las vegas wedding venues

    Wonderful, what a web site it is! This web site presents helpful data to us, keep it
    up.

  • Comment Link Marcel Domingo, 29 Maio 2016 04:36 posted by Marcel

    Please let me know if you're looking for a article writer
    for your weblog. You have some really great articles and I believe I would be a
    good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off,
    I'd really like to write some articles for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine.
    Please send me an e-mail if interested. Thanks!

  • Comment Link Alexandria Domingo, 29 Maio 2016 04:34 posted by Alexandria

    Costs there can be as minimal as $500 for your automobile in a excellent
    situation. Driven aggressively, the cars will run out of power in about 30 minutes.
    Access Free Online Maps via Wi - Fi or 3G network, such as Google Map.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated.Basic HTML code is allowed.