Initial Thoughts on Twitter

I have been using twitter for a few weeks now and can now see why people like it so much. I’m not totally addicted yet, but I think that’s mostly because no one I know personally are twits. Once Twitter gets more popular and my personal friends are on there, I could see using it a lot more. Here are some initial thoughts:

  • Twitter is to Blogging as IM is to EMail. Email and blogging are slower, more well thought out. IM and Twitter are quick and impulsive. EMail and IM are generally one-to-one (or one to a few), Blogging and Twitter are one-to-many. So think of Twitter as quick and impulsive blogging or one-to-many IMing.
  • Great for staying up to the minute. It’s amazing how quickly news breaks on Twitter. After using Twitter for a while you feel out of the loop when you learn about something even a few hours after it happens.
  • Off-twitter popularity translates to twitter popularity The best way to be popular on Twitter is to have a popular blog or site. There aren’t too many Twitter-only celebrities. If you have an A-List blog and start to Twitter, people will follow. Just look at John Battelle who announced today he was going to start to Twitter. He already has over 70 followers and he hasn’t even posted anything on Twitter yet!
  • Lots of good tools. I have been using TwitterFox , a plugin for Firefox which shows you tweets from those who are following and allows you to send updates as well. I have also been using on my iPhone. There are lots of other tools and service out there as well.

If you feel like following me, see I only have 4 followers so I am feeling pretty lonely.


  1. Lexli Said,

    May 2, 2008 @ 6:15 am

    I’m not on Twitter, so please forgive me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it just a site that lets you post a status of what you’re up to? It’s like the status feature on facebook that lets all of your friends see what you’re up to. Is that right?

    It definitely has an appeal, but it seems like it’d need more to it than just that to stay popular in the long-run. TwitterFox is a really cool application that should only make the site even more popular since it makes it way more convenient.

  2. Toivo Lainevool Said,

    May 2, 2008 @ 8:59 am

    Lexli, You are mostly right. I think one of the key things though, is that the messages can be distributed however you like. Twitter lets you choose which people you follow, and of those one which ones will send SMS messages to you phone. Also because they have an open API, it’s very easy for third party developers to make application, plug-ins, etc. I think it’s this ability to get the messages when and where you want that makes it so appealing. I actually rarely visit the twitter site itself.

    I think it’s just one of those things you have to try to “get”.,

  3. sue Said,

    May 16, 2008 @ 8:48 pm

    Hi Toivo,

    Interesting post, your chart hits the nail right on the head too. I recently signed up for Twitter and here are my thoughts: First, I was confused by the concept. I thought, “why would ANYONE care that I’m at the bank, grocery store or working on a new project?” As I started following more people, I started to see the appeal. It’s not just about a 140 word quick message, its about the connections people make and the conversations people have. People chat about work, life, home, news happenings, great blog articles and anything in general. If you have a good following/follower ratio, you can learn so much through that little 140 word message. Its all about the conversations and the connections people make. Additionally, its much less personal and invasive than a long drawn out email. Its quick, simple and easy! Now…. I’m almost embarrassed to say that I am a Twitter addict. I have Twhirl on my desktop, Twitterberry on my blackberry while my browser has Twitter open! :-Z


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