If you’re not familiar with Twitter, here’s an overview: it’s like a micro blog where people answer a simple question of “What are you doing?” By answering this question, in 140 characters or less, it allows you to inform your circle of friends, in real-time, about what you’re doing. You post updates (called tweets) via Twitter.com, mobile phone, IM, or a desktop app (like Twitterrific and Twitteroo). If you’ve connected your mobile phone to Twitter, you’ll get an SMS message whenever your friends posts an update…which is basically a group SMS mailing list – similar to Dodgeball (remember that?) but easier to use.
When I first checked-out Twitter 3 -4 months ago I thought, “Eh, what’s the big deal?” Now that South by Southwest Conference (SXSW) is over and Twitter won the SXSW Web Award, I decided to create an account to see what all the hype is about. After playing around with it for a day or two, I now understand why it’s popular but it’s not for me. I don’t feel the need to post what I’m doing throughout the day. Besides, do people need to know what I’m doing and do they really care? I doubt it.
I think Twitter can cause information overload because there’s no way to filter the noise (e.g., “eating a burrito for lunch”). The potential to receive more noise than signal is quite high. Most people’s lives aren’t that interesting so there’s no need to know all of the details…unless, of course, if you’re a stalker. And, if you are, you’re probably already using Twitter. 😉
So, to Twitter or not to Twitter – that is the question. My answer (for now): not to Twitter.