Saturday, November 29, 2008
Based on my 6 day long experience with Twitter, I'll answer the questions I had from before I signed up.
What is it exactly?
It is Facebook.com MINUS every single feature except status updates and uploading a single profile picture. So if those are the only two Facebook features you use, you may want to move to twitter!
What does it have to do with text messages and cell phones?
You can update your status updates (or TWEETS) through your cell phone with text messages! If you really do dig the twitter concept, I can see this being useful and fun.
What's the point?
I think the real point, is for popular bloggers to be given the ability to do their blogging endlessly. Rather than them having to come up with a paragraph worth of interesting thought before making a post, all they need to do is come up with 140 characters or less describing what they are doing. This form of blogging doesn't even require them to be near their computer because of the text message functionality. Also, I would guess that there is an unlimited supply of iPhone apps for Twitter as well (good news for these "popular bloggers" who are clearly obsessed with everything with an "i" iN front of iT).
It is also for famous people who know how to use a computer. This I like. Facebook is really only set up to see the status updates of your friends, the Twitter approach allows for you to easily follow the status updates of people you are a fan of. This is cool to see people who are celebrities in my mind, humanized with short posts of pointlessness.
Clearly it is successful, but this is why I think it fails
1) Terrible user-to-user interaction. It seems like "tweets" are just thrown into the internet with no purpose. Even Facebook status updates give you the ability to comment to them directly. Even if you have "followers," on Twitter, and they make posts directed at your with the "@reply" feature, these posts are not direct responses to your posts. Everyone's replies to you are thrown into a big unsorted bucket. Sure, the replies could specify that they are making their posts in response to the funny picture of a cat you posted, but it would take up nearly all of their 140 characters to say this. "@keatonkeaton999, in response to the funny cat picture you posted (not the one on Thursday, the one on Saturday): Funny, reminds me of my friend Jimmy"
2) If you have a thought that's more than 140 characters, you must split it up over multiple posts, or you're out of luck.
3) I don't care about anything anyone has written. Unless someone I'm a fan of is providing an update about new content they have made, like a video or song, then I am largely uninterested by what anyone has to say in 140 characters or less.
This all being said
Be sure to check out my cool twitter profile and follow me! http://twitter.com/keatonkeaton999
Also, funny tale
The creator of the Nickelodeon show, Invader Zim, has a Twitter profile which used to be at this address. The day he changed his name from JhnenVEE to JhonenV I happened to notice and took the old name. Because of this, I was able to make any post inside the twitter box on his official blog. It took him quite a few days to realize he didn't change any of the twitter links, or the account name on that blog box, on his website. So that account got 35 followers. I also filled the profile with stupid Invader Zim related posts (like a fake cartoon pilot, and comic made in MSPAINT) hoping he'd see it and LOL. However, in a recent twitter post he called me a parasite instead. "Yes, I switched my Twitter name recently and some parasite started using my old one. The creature dreams big, yes, but it's not me, kids." AT LEAST HE NOTICED ME, LOLOLOLOL.
Also, longest post I will ever make.