This evening I observed that Twitter has become very chatty, by which I mean it has a lot more replies from person to person… denoted by the @user syntax. In some ways when it is like this, it’s like a group chat or IRC channel, only without the topic filter. A couple of people apologised for being more chatty than usual today, but it isn’t a criticism, just an observation – I know I’ve been responding to others a lot more recently than twittering my own status, location or whatever.
I’m not wondering that. Apart from the very excellent sense of Ambient Intimacy (see Stephen Collins for a good recent example), I’ve got a few thoughts of my own as to how Twitter is useful. In fact, I commented recently on a post by Jasmin Tragas about this:
I usually describe it as status broadcast, im-lite, microblogging, and location-awareness-lite.
The thing is that IM-lite or groupchat has become the more prominent of these aspects lately. No big deal really.
Let’s look at the benefit I’ve gained from Twitter today:
- used a number of direct messages to communicate with friends
- shared information on how to use Spaces
- worked out how to use Apple Mail
- shared some location / event information
- discussed music and movies
- learned that the new version of Twitterrific is out
Now, much of that has been done through conversational use of the tool as much as via fire-and-forget messaging. But there has also been a lot of link sharing, news watching, and life streaming going on. It’s just amazing how such a simple concept has become so useful.