Some of the best things that are invented and we use were created accidentally such as the microwave or things like Blogger or Flickr. Now my latest constantly open and frequently updated service is Twitter, which grew out of Odeo and originally was called Twittr. I started using it fairly early and my first tweet (as we call the beautifully short 140 character messages) was on October 19, 2006.
The two great things about Twitter are the forced concision and the immediacy. By allowing updates to be sent via mobile phone (which is the reason for the limited characters) it means that you can update as things are happening. On my MacBook Pro Twitterific is open constantly and it’s how I send most of my updates. But sending updates isn’t the wonderful thing, but it’s the community of people and the quality of the fun and information that is exchanged. While blog posts can be longer, more visual and more filled with comments, there is an equality to Twitter in that everyone needs to follow the same rules and can’t exceed the 140 character limit.
With Twitter I feel more connected to everyone and by choosing who I follow, I know that I’m interested in what people are saying. I don’t want to follow thousands of people because I don’t want to be overwhelmed with updates. Some people use Twitter as a way to post links, but that’s what I use del.icio.us for. The tweets that I love are the ones where people are saying something profound, something real, or just funny. Right now with the people that I’m following it feels just right and I know that soon I’ll be reading short updates from Cannes, finding out what friends are up to and be able to interact with someone in a few seconds. It’s like passing a steady stream of interesting people in the street, briefly making eye contact and smiling at them.