Twitter: Does the emperor have no clothes?

January 5, 2008

Twitter: Does the emperor have no clothes?

I decided the other day that I would be cool and sign up for a Twitter account. OK, so I did it. I even added a few entries and looked at some entries of people I know. So, here is my question: why? Maybe I am too old to get this. In essence, Twitter is instant messaging that adds some multi-media splash. It is also a sort of micro-blogging tool. But I wanted to make sure that I was being fair. So, I did some checking to see how people are using this new tool. Here is where I think that Twitter does work. You are a very social person who creates a network of a few dozen of your close friends. One of the best examples of an interesting Twitter network is James Governer’s blog site that lives up to the hype by creating a broad network of chatters. Michael Krigsman in his blog has some interesting observations on Twitter.

I will continue to play around with Twitter and see how it evolves over time. Here is my take. It is an interesting idea that might be the germ of something for the future. I am not really sure where this Twitter social computing idea will go. Do you really want to know that I ate a pizza 2 minutes ago and regret that I ate the whole thing? Do I care that your electricity went out last night and you had to sit in the dark for an hour? Maybe I do care if I am working on a project with a highly distributed team and want to communicate in real time without picking up the phone or rushing to the computer.

Maybe we just don’t know yet. Remember when the first personal computers were entering the market in the late 1970s no one knew what in the world you would use one for? Those discussions seen quite silly now. But in those days there were no word processors or spreadsheets and no email for those devices. There was simply a notion that there is something that could evolve into something pretty important. Do I think that Twitter is in the same category? Probably not. I do think there is something there about real time, unified communication and real time access that has potential — but not right now and not in this form.

About Judith Hurwitz

Judith Hurwitz is an author, speaker and business technology consultant with decades of experience.

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