Wandering Thoughts archives

2009-01-28

The (or an) attraction of Twitter

As I was reading Sun documentation yesterday, I had a belated realization about one of the attractions of Twitter: it is a public place to put snarky comments and quick reactions that are neither serious enough nor long enough for a blog entry, even a very short one.

Now, as it happens I already have social venues for these reactions, but they suffer from two problems. First, they're not public, and second, they take more involvement than merely throwing something at Twitter, because they actually are social venues; I can't just show up, throw out a one-liner, and disappear again.

(Since I am almost entirely ignorant of how people use Twitter, it is possible that Twitter itself is turning into a social venue where people expect you to pay attention and reply to their replies to you. In my view, this would be kind of unfortunate.)

Of course, you don't need to use Twitter itself for this; there are lots of ways to do this sort of thing in your own web presence. But apart from network effects, I think that there are at least two attractions of doing this with Twitter itself: first, someone else has already created all of the software necessary for you (including clients), and second, Twitter's success has created the broad social expectations of what you get from someone's Twitter updates, so you don't have to train people that this sidebar on your website is not so serious and deep.

(I don't mind creating my own software; it's even fun. But right now I have lots of other things that are taking up my time, so I'm just as happy to not reinvent reasonably round wheels.)

web/TwitterAttraction written at 22:44:11; Add Comment


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