Hmmmm, why this blog? Random thoughts of mind triggers few amazing discussions. I hope this is going to be an attempt from my end on starting off a good discussion on what people think it will do and what eventually it ends up doing. Confused.? Well thats the whole point
Twitter, a micro blogging platform intended to keep us connected by simply answering the question of "What are you doing?". The modes of communication mainly on the internet platform dint let us communicate very simple things which were of course interesting to a set of users connected to us. And one such very important question was "What are you doing?. Such things couldn't be communicated using emails or phone calls. For e.g. we wouldn't send an email to a friend to tell that "You are enjoying Bangalore climate and having a cup of hot coffee and reading some book". But its an important message to some person who wishes to be connected to your life. Blogs, phone calls, social networking sites all were possible alternatives, but nothing would actually serve this purpose. Our real world and things we do daily mainly happen between emails, and blog posts. We dint have a platform to share. And hence the concept of micro blogging came, twitter was born and 140 char was the best feature to it. Twitter is sweet cos its short. How many of us like to read tweets which span across 2-3 tweets, we just ignore them. The 140 char limit not only provided "just enough information" but also helps in making a decision if we need to know more about it or not and there by solving a huge problem of the internet of "Information Overload". Why do we have abstracts in technical publications, nobody is going to read the whole paper to know what it is about, but a handler like an abstract helps us in drawing lines between what we want to know and what we don't.
The "@" concept was mainly to enrich the power of micro blogging to next level by bringing in collaboration. They dint want to limit it to a one way communication of broadcast of information. Again here the feed wasn't simply populated in the network, people had the choice to follow or not to follow. It acted on the receiving end, emails and phone calls on the other hand works the other way, where the source decides where these information packets are to be send to, which according to me, was a huge success factor of twitter. It was a well thought after concept which had spread like wild fire in the internet jungle. People instantly liked it cos it was simple, addictive and above all acted as "an handler to information". But time and again, historical analogies have proved it that technologies are shaped keeping something in mind, but its the way the society interprets it and uses the technology that it shapes its life. Its not the designer nor the coder who decides how it evolves, but its the user of the technology.
I have been using twitter for almost an year now, I would say I am thoroughly addicted to it and enjoy using it. The concept really impressed me, but ironically the very success factor of it is sowing its seeds of destruction. The purpose is lost, we see a lot many more @ responses which are purely one-to-one basis which again puts the user in an information overload and irrelevant nature increases. I need not know what two people want to communicate on a personal basis, emails and even direct messages on twitter serve that purpose, but again nobody controls on how to use the technology.
These are merely my personal views based on the evolution I witnessed within 1 year of my tweeting experience, though the concept has gone in a unanticipated direction, with the amazing rate of growth twitter is definitely going places and new usage pattern esp in business applications and marketing gimmicks are gonna happen out there. Only time and way the people use it will determine where it goes. Lets wait and see this transformation from micro blogging to public chat client to marketing platform to broadcast of information to God knows what.
P.S - It will be great if you could throw some light on what you feel is wrong in my interpretation or even enrich my point of argument. Then again as Srinath sir says - Attack the idea and not the person [:P]