From Dave Winer: “I’m very reluctant to dismiss Twitter as a passing fad, aware that many people said that about blogging, and I was sure they were wrong, and they were. Whenever so many people are so excited about something there must be some substance.”
Citizen of the world Joi Ito the other day observed in his SXSW session how Americans look at new technology and immediately ask, “What’s the business application?” In Japan, however, new technology is handed to children who are told, “Go play with it.” The kids play and do stuff that later becomes things that others realize would make sense also in a business context.
I am definitely in the “playing” phase with my use of Twitter. I’ve already “un-followed” some folks (like I unscubscribe to RSS feeds). I turned off the texting option now that I’m home from SXSW, but I found it helpful at times to sort out where I was heading and who I’d see at a specific panel. When I’m at my desk, the IM feed of Twitter reminds me of an open IRC channel. The website version is the most passive interface — sort of like visiting a blog rather than subscribing to the RSS feed. Another way I’m playing with Twitter is by placing a bit of code (a widget w/out any glitter) that displays my most recent Twitter post on my blog’s sidebar. I’ve placed it under a heading, “Where is Rex?” — which you can see if you’re reading this on my blog.
My “play” has led to some thoughts on business uses, primarily as an easy-to-administer group texting tool for a team or project. An “enterprise” version, perhaps? One thing the Twitter folks have: a drop-dead easy-to-use service and a critical mass of users in a small corner of the geekosphere. Oh, and buzz. Lots and lots of buzz.
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