the twitter phenomenon

17 05 2007

Does anyone remember FlashMob? It was just another crazy Internet phenomenon where a group of people who did not know each other met in a predetermined public place, did something unusual and then disappeared. They connected only through the Internet. Flashmobbing still exists [link], but I am not sure how many people out there still do it.

twitter.pngAnd now there is the Twitter phenomenon. I call it a phenomenon because it really makes no sense whatsoever. Twitter is “a global community of friends and strangers answering one simple question: What are you doing?” Everybody from all over the world responds to that single question. You do not write an essay, you do not write a paragraph; you only write one sentence that describes what you are doing right this minute.

Here is one answer:

Run out of tobacco, but can’t be bothered to go out in the wind and rain to get some more, could today be the day I stop smoking?

And here is another:

Moderate takes reins as France’s PM: French President Nicolas Sarkozy named a consensual, reform

The site keeps updating of course every second as people from all over the world keep posting what they are doing.

The creators of Twitter are a group called Obvious from California. They claim they like to create “interesting things that matter to the world”.

Matter to the world? Maybe. Perhaps there is something I am missing.

A few weeks ago NPR had a segment about Twitter on its program On Point:

Non-stop, instant communication from anywhere, all the time. Hyper-connectivity, always present, in a non-stop global mind-share of twittering micro-thoughts.

You may listen to the program here as its founders explain what they wanted out of Twitter. And here is the link to the Twitter pheonomenon.

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