On the internet, popularity is not forever. Tech users are a fickle, flittery bunch quickly clicking between windows and chats and apps and documents at the swipe of an Alt-Tab. In a world where blog has become an Oscar nominated movie line (Juno, “Honest to blog”), microblogging is the new black.
3 years ago, MySpace exploded. And while its traffic continues to be steady, the North American tech user has started the migration over to Facebook, but now that domination appears to be short lived as the leading edge of the wave is already leaving.
Twitter is where all the cool kids are hanging now.
Twitter is a simple microblogging app that limits your posts to 140 characters. For the Facebook crowd, think of it as a feed of people’s statii – but Twitter is so much more. It truly is a blogging platform that is designed to be mobile. Twitter posts (tweets) are limited to 140 characters, the same limitations of SMS, so you’ll often find people tweeting on the go. Because of the character limit of the posts, they become almost poetic, a new internet Haiku.
It’s a social networking tool like the others in that you have friends whom you can follow, and friends that will follow you. But it’s the big events are where Twitter shines as Twitter turns into a giant party line of activity.
When Steve Jobs did his keynote at MacWorld to announce the MacBook Air, thousands used Twitter to live blog his address, and it crashed the system. During the SuperBowl and The Oscars, it felt like you were watching with the world as people would fire off instant thoughts during the game and show.
SXSW goes down in Austin next weekend and again the Twitter pipes will fire up as people use it as a message board to find out where the hot sessions, parties and jams are going down.
Honestly, for those who lead busy lives, it seems like a crazy time consuming task to add to your ritual, but it has become strangely addictive to the tech set. In an ADD world, all we need is a few quick sentences to get the message across.
This article originally appeared in 24hrs Vancouver on February 27, 2008
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