Saturday, August 18, 2007

Twitter: Why all the fuss?

I've been using Twitter for several months now. [I have ~25 people I follow and about the same number follow me. I post at least once a day and I've used it to learn more about people I already knew from work, and gotten to know people with whom I've spent less than 48 hours in person. I don't have it on my cell phone, but I do check it fairly regularly when I'm online.]

Although I have no idea what the company's business plan is (probably to be bought by Google or Yahoo), it's interesting to me that so many people are asking themselves how to use it (or dismissing it as overwhelming and/or naval-gazing). If we see it as a slightly different method of keeping in touch with other people, with people we're interested in for a variety of intellectual or personal reasons, then good. Why the hand-wringing or defensiveness about it I see from so many bloggers (many of whom I really respect)? [For example] Is it that it's really hard to explain to people who aren't on it?

2 comments:

mburtis said...

It is interesting how even some people who are deeply invested in the world of social networking tools can be so defensive about Twitter. . .

I suspect that it may be the tool that for many people just straddles a particular boundary that we all have to struggle with when we use these tools.

I understand why it seems like navel-gazing from the outside. But, I also know how connected it helps me to feel to a network of people -- some of whom I've never met.

Being okay with being on Twitter, for some people, I suspect means being okay with a particular intensity of or commitment to connection that is hard.

Jeff said...

Someone asked me, "What do you give up in order to Twitter?"

I wonder how much of the reaction I write about here is related to a perceived need to justify the time spent in twittering and reading tweets.