Thursday, March 29, 2007

Taking the twit out of twitter

Until recently, Twitter passed me by. It just seemed so small. The delightful dull blog pictured provides dullness should you want it, but with irony and humor. But then the worm turned, and I'm now twittering with the best of them. The reason? I don't have a TV. And this is as close as TV for the web as I've seen.

I've never really been that much into online video, other than on the express recommendation from someone who's opinion I trust. Browsing YouTube is about as entertaining for me as scrabbling around in the trash among yesterday's newspapers - occasionally finding a morsel of interst, but the whole process makes you feel rather grubby.

TV - even in bite sized chunks - seems to me to be the wrong metaphor for the web. The brilliant Web2.0 video should eviscerate any lingering doubt that the web is a collaborative, social phenomenon. A TV show is made by one person or team, and we know now deep in our DNA that the one-way contributions of just one group can only get us so far. Reality TV is dull as it focuses on just one small group (of generally dysfunctional) individuals. Normal TV is made by a small group, but generally has higher production values. But this - the reality Web - is an all together different animal. How many TV shows do you know that have passionate developers pulling them every which way? Twitter shows you that the colourful texture of the web is composed of real people (ok, still slightly geeky ones at this stage). Heck, it's almost becoming three-dimensional. The fact that these twitterholics are alive, connected, and even occasionally interesting brings a tremendously human dimension to what has been all too often an all too solitary web experience. I hope it flies.


Niall said...

"morsel of interst", you're just so 2.0 you can't help dropping those final vowels ;)

I haven't tried Twitter yet, but I understand you can also receive stuff via SMS?

Marc Orchant said...

I agree Stephen. Twitter seems so simplistic when you first look at it. But the utility of an asynchronous, yet real-time chat room that can alert you via SMS, RSS, or all manners of widgets, gadgets, and browser add-ins about what people you're connected to or interested in are doing is powerful.

During the ETech conference this past week, Twitter was also a scheduling application as many of who were there were making plans for meals, after hours events, and even to locate each other in the crowd.

It really is a micro-blogging platform with serious networking implications and, as the mashups continue to appear (have you seen TwitterVision yet?), it will only become more useful.