Sunday, June 1, 2008

What on earth is Twitter?

What can truly be best described as an Internet phenomenon, has caught on like wild fire among the social crowd and techies. But will it catch on with the mainstream crowd?

Twitter is, at its heart, a service for community-based SMS messaging (144 char mobile texting). When you twitter a message, anyone who cares to hear it, can, and if they desire, respond. Friends can keep their friends updated on their life every minute of the day; journalists can keep an audience updated from moment to moment at an event; or it could even be used much like a large chatroom, but where you only have to hear the responses of those you care about. No fancy stuff required -- just a plain cell phone is needed.

Lost out the in the middle of no where and need directions? Twitter out a message and minutes later get flooded with answers from friends who follow your twittering stream. Feel like sharing that you just took the biggest crap ever? Twitter away! If anyone cares to hear it, they can! Twitter has much more potential than just this, but I hope you get the idea of what it's about.

Why is it catching on? Well, it's essentially Facebook, but in concentrated form, simple enough to use from any phone, anywhere. It's not just limited to phone SMSing, but you can use twitter from even Facebook, email, MSN, or the website. It's addictive, so use at your own risk.

The only thing that might be keeping Twitter from exploding is the fact not everyone yet is cell phone SMS savoy, and I honestly feel that you may find this service a bit confusing to you without being familiar with facebooking or text messaging. Also, if your friends aren't very tech/social savoy, you may find yourself without many people to twitter with -- although there are lots of people out there worthy of listening to on twitter.

The Mars lander for example has its own Twitter stream that is rather cute. Barak Obama has a twitter stream that is interesting to follow, and there are plenty of news streams that are being now twittered. Get a cell phone, or just goto, and start seeing what you are missing. It's a great way to waste time when sitting on the bus when with just your cell phone.
You can twitter me @ Xyster

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