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Is Twitter For Twits?

Apr 28, 2008
I hear it all the time. The people on twitter are twits, twittering tales of hairballs and haircuts. Bloggers have been moaning about the noise on twitter, and predicting the date the site will close down, yet twitter remains a powerful communications force in the online world.

I think it has something to do with that thing they call API...the stuff programmers use to talk to twitter and make other tools that use twitter information for something else. I didn't really understand what use it would be to aggregate all these useless posts, until I noticed that some people are posting really valuable stuff. Like the BBC and CNN! Yes, these news sites twitter their top headlines into their twitter account, for all the world to see.

Now, things like twittervision are interesting, and give you a glimpse of world twitter activity, but it sure can waste time too...kind of like what a twit would do, right?

With a little thoughtfulness, you might be able to imagine twittervision done right - showing only the twitters of your friends or a region. So far, that's not happening. But there are a lot of powerful tools being developed to make twitter more personal and available. Like the SMS integration, which lets you read and respond to twitterings from your cell phone. Or twitterfox, a firefox browser plugin that lets your twitters pop up while you surf. This latter tool is even more powerful now, by filtering the replies from your posts, so you can scroll through the responses from others, and respond to them with one click of the mouse.

Other people are using twitter for business, and developing their reach even further simply by posting some of their work on twitter. Lately, I have found poets, reporters, marketers, ceo's, and others, all focusing their twitters to provide useful content relating to their specialty. It makes me think that soon all the major business communications will be carried over twitter, as a new medium to reach a wider audience.

The beauty of twittering is it is like instant messaging, without being instant. People don't expect an immediate response, don't see if you are online or not, but do get to see your response when you post it, so they can catch up to the conversation whenever they want to, and respond to things without worrying about the interactive requirements of a phone conversation or instant messaging session (big time wasters in this world of ours).

Still, there are millions of people using twitter, and many of them are twits, twittering about toilets and termites that no one else wants to hear about. I like people who do something to fix this problem, and one free tool is at Quotably, and lets you search twitter and group responses into conversations that you can read and respond to. It's quite powerful when you think about it, and perhaps it will help you to see where twitter might go in the future.

It's an exciting world for the twitterers of today.
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