After slapping Twitter around for the past year, I thought it was about time for me to shut my mouth and actually try it. So after a week, here are my initial impressions.
First off, communications through Twitter are by their nature somewhat superfluous. I’ve really only had one discussion that’s actually meant anything. My impression is that it’s basically the Internet equivalent of the CB Radio. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing.
The means of communication is totally different. Look at the stunts Web A Lister Jason Calacanis; as he basically uses Twitter as his personal marketing platform. He’s offering a Mac Book Air to be raffled off if he is “followed” by 20,000 people. He’s been using Twitter to bombard sites, move articles on Digg, etc. The other day he flooded UStream with people as he offered via Twitter to give a way a GPS unit. I was there, it was hysterical – the chat window was rolling so fast it couldn’t be read. He actually had to tell everyone to stop using it. But the real point is this: if he’d used any other communication means it would not have worked. If he email me, or worse, called, and asked me to go there for a chance to win a GPS I’d have reported him to his ISP for spamming. But for some reason, spamming seems to be okay here.
I’m going to chock it up to the bleeding edge nature of Twitter. I still don’t get it, but at least now I can see uses. However, I’m a results oriented kind of guy. I’m betting I find I don’t have time for this in my life.
This will really work when it’s teamed with groups. Simply following a couple hundred people increases the signal to noise ratio to a point that it’s almost unusable. However, it could come in handy when working with team members, or extended communities like a club. Groups would cut the signal to noise ration down and make it useable.
For now, it seems like a place where A Listers like Calacanis and Steve Gillmor flood the Tweetwaves and make it tough to use. I’ll have to narrow down my “follows.”