Thursday, October 15, 2009

In praise of Twitter?

Tried out Twitter over the summer and I can't say that I was impressed. Received followers who were no more than "twam", i.e. Twitter spam. For instance, I noted that we were planning a trip to Hua Hin and in popped a follower offering Hua Hin deals. It was not easy to for others to follow our Tweets either - probably because we are of a different generation i.e. we did not rig our cell phones for Twitter etc.

Tyler Cowen seems impressed. Maybe I should use it the same way he does:

I am surprised how many people still think Twitter is a fad or a waste of time. I view Twitter -- or some modified future version thereof -- as everlasting. Most of all, the search function helps you tap into a real time conversation on just about any topic you want, ... Google is wonderful but it's hard to sort through the mess and figure out where the conversation is now. For sampling opinion on either movies or music, Twitter is essential, or even for researching a forthcoming blog post. Think of it as Google focused on one time-slice and giving the weight of crowd opinion no more than linear force. If an opinion is more common it will receive more tweets but otherwise your search brings up the splat, ordered by chronology, and thus it is more idiosyncratic than the first Google search page and often in a good way.

This opinion however in no way invalidates my opinion that Twitter is a fad. Whatever happened to the promise of MySpace, Friendster, etc. I still have to try out Facebook.

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