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Will Twitter Join Podcasting on the 'Net Sidelines'? 221

Ian Lamont writes "Twitter has established itself in some quarters as a must-have communications tool, and its power to connect and even incite people is hard to deny. But does Twitter have long-term, mainstream potential? Or does a poor revenue model and strong competition mean that it's destined to be a sideline Internet technology, much like podcasting has failed to live up to early hype?"
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Will Twitter Join Podcasting on the 'Net Sidelines'?

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  • Yes! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 02, 2008 @11:01AM (#22940972)
    Along with Erris, Mactrop and all his other sockpuppets.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      What is twitter anyway?..
  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2008 @11:05AM (#22941010) Journal
    Ah, social networking AND SMS. Could the fusion of two incredibly annoying technologies be any better?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Well Twitter and the Monkeyman were hard up for cash, so they stayed up all night selling cocaine and hash.
    • by Tsu-na-mi ( 88576 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2008 @11:13AM (#22941098) Homepage
      Damn, I was going to ask the same thing. I thought Twitter was a high end stereo store... ^_-
    • Re:wtf is twitter (Score:5, Insightful)

      by h4rm0ny ( 722443 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2008 @11:16AM (#22941128) Journal

      It's a system whereby people tragically sit there in pubs "twittering" to other people instead of participating in an actual conversation. At least in my experience. In practice, it's just basically IRC re-implemented over SMS messages. They even seem to have kept the old "line limit" in that your cut off at the length of a standard txt (about 140 characters, I think). In my view, all it really seems to accomplish is leaving people not quite focused on what they're doing because they keep getting "twitters" arriving. If you have something important to send, you use email (with all its inherent advantages). If you just want to make limited comments to a "chat room," you can use Twitter that other users may or may not be paying attention to, you can use Twitter.

      As mobile access to the Internet gets more pervasive, SMS will die or at least merge with other technologies anyway.
      • by Zelos ( 1050172 )
        Is that it? Sounds about as pointless as I suspected.
        • by h4rm0ny ( 722443 )

          Pretty much. All the power and distraction of IRC but over an achingly slow, asynchonous protocol. It really couldn't be better named - "Twitter" says it all.
      • Agreed, twitter is a somewhat pointless service in my limited experience with it. It's text messaging linked to the web, but who cares? Podcasting on the other hand... a "sidelined" web thing??? No way! I listen to probably 5+ hours of podcasts every week. It's a great way to pass the time on some of my more mundane tasks at work without listening to the same album on my iPod for the twentieth time in one day. Podcasting to me is Tivo for talk radio.. on steroids.
    • Yes. They could combine social networking and MMS, allowing people to send movies that auto-play to your mobile phone. I'm sure there are geniuses out there that will come up with something even more annoying than my suggestion, though.

      See? Never say "How could this be any worse?" because, inevitably, you WILL find out.
    • All I can say about twitter is that my company spends a good amount of our morning propaganda talking about the great things people are saying about us on Twitter, and how many high profile people in my company are using Twitter. Since there is a sharp contrast between that and what other media say about us, I suspect this media is corrupt.

      Of course, as you say, grand unification of two annoying technologies, glued by a name which suggests an annoying buzzing sound doesn't inspire me to go check and prove m
  • Twitter ver One (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Stanistani ( 808333 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2008 @11:07AM (#22941032) Homepage Journal
    Twitter needs to make a few changes, and its adoption curve could turn upwards -
    the biggest in my mind?

    Allow linked URLs.

    That would double its usefulness.
    • by devjj ( 956776 )
      Or cut it in half, depending on how it plays out.
    • One of these trends is not like the others. One of these trends is not the same. One of these trends is not like the others. Which trend goes down? [google.com]
    • The URLs are clickable, at least on the web site and in the app I use to view my stream, called Twitterrific [iconfactory.com]. It sits there on the side of my desktop, occasionally updating. I've found a lot of good and useful information and news from the links in my tweetstream.

      Twitter is also more useful if the people you want to follow are already using it. In my case, they are. I can see what the top people in my field are doing and watch in on conferences and meetups that I'm unable to go to. Yes, these people all hav
      • What is your field? If these people all have blogs and use twitter a lot, I assume that it is a job with communications at its core. Otherwise, how do they do enough work to be top people in their field and also invest so much time communicating?
    • by shinma ( 106792 )
      I click on links in my Twitter client (Twitterific) all the time. I'm not sure if it's Twitter linkifying them or the client, but it works for me.
  • by MoNickels ( 1700 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2008 @11:08AM (#22941040) Homepage
    Podcasting has hardly been sidelined. In the radio business, podcasting is utterly huge--a transformative, disruptive technology that is propelling new business models and new integration of old and new medias. I host a public radio show myself: our podcasting audience is the equivalent of having a dozen more stations syndicate our show. I'm a convert, too: in 2004 I said podasting was DOA. Boy, was I wrong. I'm now at the point where podcasts are the main way I get radio an it's true for more and more people. We know because our radio audience tells us so and we see it in the numbers.
    • by glop ( 181086 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2008 @11:19AM (#22941162)
      I am just a listener and I love my podcasts for my daily commute.
      The podcasts are great for me because:
        - they rest my eyes (no need to read on screen)
        - I don't need Internet access
        - I don't need to wait for the show to be on or to be in the right country to listen to the radio show.
        - they are enjoyable, entertaining and different from reading or watching TV

      I tend to skip the ads, but I now who sponsors the shows I listen to so the ad/sponsoring is undoubtedly worth money.

        A big thank you to all the podcasters! You made my life richer!
      • I like listening to Futures in BioTech, but their sponsors tend to be for PCR kits and stuff. Things I'm never going to buy because I'm not a scientist. I just like listening to Scientists :)
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by jaxle ( 193331 )
        I have definitely bought a Pabst Blue Ribbon 30 pack because of their support of NPR podcasts.
        • OT but it's funny to me that here in Texas PBR is getting trendy so the prices are going up. My favorite bar use to sell it for $1 now it's up to $2.50. There's a bar called City Tavern in downtown Dallas that will give you a PBR and a shot of Jack for $4.00. It's not that bad of a beer once you get use to it and the look on the faces of all the beer snobs when you order it is totally worth it.
    • by SCHecklerX ( 229973 ) <thecaptain@captaincodo.net> on Wednesday April 02, 2008 @11:21AM (#22941186) Homepage
      For listening to music, I usually prefer live streams ala Radio Paradise (love my Roku Soundbridge!), but there are a couple of places where podcasts shine:

      1) NPR. I sync stuff every night for the hour commute to and from work. great way to catch up on news and such.
      2) Workout music. I would never listen to dance/techno music normally, but it works well on the elliptic trainer. Here's where I get mine: http://www.djsteveboy.com/mixes.html [djsteveboy.com]

      If we had wifi everywhere (when in the car) with access to things like Radio Paradise, podcasts wouldn't be quite as useful to me.
      • It may not be quite as useful, but if you don't want to kill your battery on your portable device, it's probably better to have the podcast. Just download it in the morning, and you're set. It would suck to miss part of the show because you drove through a tunnel, or hit some other blackout area.
    • by FinestLittleSpace ( 719663 ) * on Wednesday April 02, 2008 @11:38AM (#22941352)
      I agree. My girlfriend works in online promotion at a record label and the impact of podcasts on her ability to promote bands through these is absolutely incredible. People like the guardian will happily run long interviews with extended ad-hoc live performances (complete with a few fluff ups) because fans want to listen to them and they simply don't have time limits like on radio.

      Most people I know, geeks or not, also love to listen to their favourite radio shows on podcasts because it's EASIER and they don't have to worry about leaving the desk for 5 minutes half way through the show. In London here especially it's very handy as the radio doesn't work on the tube, but... a podcast does.

      I don't quite understand how Twitter has gained the title of 'a technology', but there you go. It's effectively a flash in the pan to many people but it's not useless... then again I've never used it and probably never will, even as an avid techie.
    • Public broadcasting's embrace of podcasting has been quite the boon to me, personally. There are many public radio shows that I wouldn't be listening to at all any more if it weren't for podcasting (since I moved out of a market that broadcast them, or have been moved to a time slot that isn't particularly convenient on my local station), and thanks to the horrible OTA TV reception in my area, many PBS shows I wouldn't even get to hear, let alone see, Frankly, what is the effective difference between watc
    • by WNight ( 23683 )
      Well, that's the explanation. The radio business.

      But who listens to slow boring people "Umm" for an hour when they could read a transcript of the same thing in five minutes?

      Drivers. The blind. And the illiterate. In other words, radio listeners.

      Podcasting won't go anywhere. Anyone who says it will is an idiot. It's just sounds in a file, and that's here to stay. But the huge kick people get out of finding one? Gone. Already. It used to be "wow, you can download a whole radio show?" but now they aren't "new"
      • by pohl ( 872 )
        The success of podcasting is not limited to the radio business. Universities are using it both for distance learning and for increasing student engagement outside of the classroom.
        • by mmkkbb ( 816035 )
          Yes, but that doesn't match the hype, which got to the level of "we're looking at a whole new social movement here and someday podcasting will be as ubuquitous as LiveJournal and Myspace".
          • by pohl ( 872 )
            I realize that, but I think there's a lot of room between "failing to rise to the hype" and "being sidelined".
    • For most of my talk radio, I do podcasts. I listen to 2 podcasts every week. For music, I don't do radio. I really like podcasting, and hope that it will eventually replace all broadcast radio. It really is a much better way to listen to the radio.
  • by lousyd ( 459028 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2008 @11:08AM (#22941042)
    I don't see any sidelining of podcasting. I can get podcasts everywhere.
    • by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2008 @11:55AM (#22941482)

      I think the issue is that while "Mainstream Media" (in particularly NPR/PRI) has embraced it whole-heartedly with the iPod-using masses on the bandwagon as listeners...nobody's watching/listening to the crap put out by the "technorati" and average joes. It's embarrassing to be "pioneers" and get completely steamrollered by traditional media, and ignored by the general public. Or, they think that because it's failing for them, it's "dead" for everyone else; there's this insipid belief amongst the technology-using loud-mouths that the world revolves around them. If everyone's blogging about how great jam-and-sausage sandwiches are (or more amusingly, blogging about how everyone is blogging about it), it MUST be true, right?

      I can't stand video/pod casts (or worse, "video blogs") by Joe Shmoes, or even the "big" "bloggers". Usually they take about 5 minutes to express an opinion or convey a bit of news that could have been written in one short paragraph I could have read in about 20 seconds.

      The whole thing reminds me about the comparison between Walmart and online companies; a single Walmart pulls in more profits in one DAY than most silicon valley companies do in a YEAR. That's how completely insignificant most "Web 2.0" crap truly is.

      • by jav1231 ( 539129 )
        That said, I am a podcaster and I never listen to any big media podcasts. If I'm into, say ESPN, I'll turn it on and watch it or listen on the radio. Extending big media staples via podcasting probably only extends the time existing listeners consume that product. My show is about cycling. I seriously doubt ESPN, for instance, has a single podcast about cycling. Granted the audience is small for my show but it's an audience that among this sport is relevant. It's meager numbers would not be relevant to ESPN
      • One of my favorite podcasts is one produced by just some random dude. He started producing it in his proverbial basement. It now has a huge following.

        I agree that the majority of the podcasts are rubbish. Just like the majority of blogs are rubbish. This should be no surprise as podcasts are nothing more than audio blogs. In any case, there is that small percentage that ends up churning to the top. That's something I like about the internet, the cream has a way of making it to the top. YouTube is mos
        • by Belial6 ( 794905 )
          That, and there was this small blog once that was only focusing on new for nerds. Everybody knew that blogs had no chance against real media. After all, why would someone read news that were being compiled by some cmdrtaco when they could read the New York Time.
      • by jddj ( 1085169 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2008 @12:34PM (#22941924) Journal

        "...nobody's watching/listening to the crap put out by the "technorati" and average joes. It's embarrassing to be "pioneers" and get completely steamrollered by traditional media, and ignored by the general public. Or, they think that because it's failing for them, it's "dead" for everyone else; there's this insipid belief amongst the technology-using loud-mouths that the world revolves around them."

        Or stated another way, the strengths of good writers and editors, top-shelf music, professional voice talent and an international news-gathering organization bring more value to any audio program than is possible for some guy living in Mom's basement.

        Duh. Film at eleven.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by bill_kress ( 99356 )
          Or stated another way, niche markets that could have never drawn enough listeners to make it into traditional media channels suddenly have a channel through which to reach their considerably smaller audience.

          Podcasts are no less valid than traditional media because of this--in fact, they could be more valid because of their ability to offer ANY content, popular or niche.

          There are a couple really good Linux podcasts, Java Posse is fantastic and Distorted View has such a large audience that was courted by a s
      • I think the issue is that while "Mainstream Media" (in particularly NPR/PRI) has embraced it whole-heartedly

        Bleh! That should have said, "I think the issue is that while "Mainstream Media" (okay, mostly NPR/PRI)" etc etc.

      • The whole thing reminds me about the comparison between Walmart and online companies; a single Walmart pulls in more profits in one DAY than most silicon valley companies do in a YEAR. That's how completely insignificant most "Web 2.0" crap truly is.

        And Google pulls in more in profits in one DAY than most stores do in their ENTIRE EXISTENCE. Most companies are small and most startups fail, whatever the industry.

  • Social games (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Colonel Korn ( 1258968 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2008 @11:09AM (#22941052)
    All of these social networking sites are popular because they let people play the high school socialization game at any stage in life, and they make it very public. Now you don't just become popular - everyone can see how popular you are. It's a minigame for life, or at least for the lives of rather dull people.
    • Re:Social games (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PatboyX ( 968493 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2008 @11:23AM (#22941202)
      I tried Twitter for a bit in order to find out what all the talk was about on TWiT. I joined and spent the day doing what I saw on Twitter - posting and commenting on my every movement and dumb thoughts that popped into my head. After a bit, I felt like it was merely an ends rather than a means to anything. I think the vast majority of stuff going on there is all about thinking of something pithy to post or feeling compelled to post your location as opposed to functional, useful information for your followers. Even the term "followers" is kind of creepy. Just as you said, tons of people are using these social networks not to keep in contact with actual friends but to simply pile up points in some strange sociopath game.
    • Re:Social games (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Curmudgeonlyoldbloke ( 850482 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2008 @11:36AM (#22941324)
      I've read the comments on the end of the Scoble link ("I couldn't bear for Twitter to be silent all day" etc.) - someone please tell me that these posters are all having a laugh.

      They're not serious, are they?
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by D Ninja ( 825055 )
        But they are. People like and WANT to feel connected. As we become a culture that is more connected, losing that connection has real implications for the people who are disconnected. They feel as though they are being left out or that they are missing something. Many times, I wonder if people are having as much fun as they appear to be having on Facebook/Twitter/MySpace/etc. As an previous poster said, it's high school all over again.

        With all that said, being connected via someone's text updates vs. be
    • Re:Social games (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Stradivarius ( 7490 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2008 @12:06PM (#22941600)
      I think there's much more to it than the more juvenile "game" aspects. Sure, you could obsess about how many "Friends" you have, or check your Facebook twenty times a day. There are certainly people who do that. I think that's kinda nuts, but there are lots of behaviors I think are strange. To each his own.

      As for the rest of us, social networking sites provide an easy (and thus well-utilized) way to maintain real-world relationships when people aren't nearby to hang out. A lot of us make good friends in college, but then move all over the country for jobs. Social-networking sites provide tools to help keep in touch, keep on top of what our friends have been doing, etc., so the relationships don't just die out. Much like people used to do with letters, but since the required effort is much smaller, people have the time and ability to keep many more friends in the loop.

      And then when you do get a chance to meet up with people you haven't seen in a while, it's not as weird. Having no contact with someone for years produces awkward social interactions when you do, as anyone who's attended a 10-year high school reunion can tell you. But if you've been occasionally communicating via social networking (or other means) during that interval, you still feel like you know the person.

  • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 02, 2008 @11:11AM (#22941078) Homepage

    I don't know what the fate of Twitter will be. It seems like it's not doing anything complicated, so even if the concept lives on, it might be that Twitter itself goes under.

    On the other hand, I'm not sure what's being said here about podcasting. I think the hype has certainly died down, but the hype on the internet in general has died down too. Gone are the days where people thought putting up a website automatically meant earning millions of dollars.

    I know some very non-technical people who download free podcasts of popular radio and TV shows to play on their iPods instead of listening to the radio. They aren't bragging about it or even talking much about it unless you bring it up, but that's only because it's become common-place enough that it's not interesting anymore. Sure, there are lots of people who don't listen to podcasts, but there are also lots who do.

    Not that I have anything investing in the argument. I don't really care whether podcasting is a "sideline" technology. I'm just not sure what it means to call podcasting a "sideline" technology. It's not a rarely-used technology, though.

    • Podcasts were overhyped (and overly panned to), but the concept is pretty good. It allows me to get niche "radio" shows, get away from the truly awful ads on radio, and not have to fiddle with a tuner, think about when a show is on the air and so on. Being able to pause it, reorder it, skip an episode and all that is nice too. I don't think it's going to beat Clear Channel, but it doesn't need to as long as I have my favorite shows. It's just an alternative distribution medium.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by STrinity ( 723872 )

      I don't know what the fate of Twitter will be. It seems like it's not doing anything complicated, so even if the concept lives on, it might be that Twitter itself goes under.

      The real problem with Twitter is they don't have anyway of monetizing it. It's basically a standalone version of Facebook and MySpace status updates, or blogs for SMS users. You don't have to go to their site to view tweets, or use their proprietary software, so there's nowhere for them to stick ads, except in the messages themselves.

  • Lately, I seem to see "podcasting" used as simply a name for MPEG 4 video files. That's useful, because it promotes a standardized format, instead of yet another proprietary Microsoft codec with DRM features that phone home.

    • by Suicidal Gir ( 939232 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2008 @11:19AM (#22941164)
      It's also what we like to call "wrong".
    • I hate it too. "Podcasting" has nothing to do with an iPod, yet it's an established word, and it's difficult to come up with another word for an RSS feed of audio files.

      However, most of the time I've seen people post regular video files, it's explicitly not a podcast -- it's something like a "video blog", a "YouTube blog", etc. Or, occasionally, it's "screencasting", and those can be relatively useful.

      It's perverse, though -- a lot of these ideas are not new, yet suddenly, when you take two or three 5+ year
      • by mmkkbb ( 816035 )
        it's difficult to come up with another word for an RSS feed of audio files.

        No it's not! "audioblog"! Although that incorporates another word that everyone hates. And a podcast may or may not be related to an actual weblog. Well, crap.
  • Good for servers (Score:2, Interesting)

    by superdana ( 1211758 )
    I can't speak to Twitter's fate, but it sure is handy for distributing Nagios notifications.
    • Erm... why is it any better than any other SMS? What does it do to justify depending on a third-party service -- and a free, "Web 2.0" one at that -- for a mission-critical feature?
  • I like twitter because it's fast. You only get so many characters for a post (likely due to SMS limitations) so you just type in something small and go. I don't use it over SMS just through the web, though i'm working on an AIM bridge. Their API is nice and the dev community is really friendly and helpful. The only downside is it's kind of hard to build up a set people to follow/followers

    I've actually considered applying for a job there but i dunno... I live in Dallas.

    my twitter name is chasd00 (along
  • So I guess it's ironic that I use Twitter to keep in contact with my fellow podcasters as a whole. Two failed technologies, married into one!

    Honestly, I like to use it because it's like I can say something to all of these other podcasters in other communities without spamming their email box. Yes, if what I have to say takes more than, say, 280 characters (two tweets) then I will either use email or just call them. But for short bursts, I love it.

    I think that the concept of Twitter is simple enough that
    • Why, oh why, haven't people figured out how to deal with this kind of email "spam" yet? Why is it so much more acceptable to spam them via Twitter than to spam their email box?

      It's not that I think Twitter is dying, it's that I still don't see the point.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Blackwulf ( 34848 )
        While I can't control how other people use Twitter, I personally do not have it sending me emails, IM's, texts, or anything else. The only way I can see what people are saying on Twitter is by actually going to the website. This is why I don't see why I'm "spamming people via Twitter" when I write a message on it. To me it's no different than reading Slashdot.

        Having Twitter "invade your life" is 100% an opt-in experience. I never opted-in, so I don't feel like it's invading my life.
  • Anything that sucks too much time for too little value will fail.
  • by Detaer ( 562863 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2008 @11:47AM (#22941430)
    'Twitter has established itself in some quarters as a must-have communications too' APRIL FOOLS!!! right? Well sadly this line was not meant to be all that funny. Twitter is a giant pile of shit. Yes that is right you heard me. For the most part it allows attention hungry people that can't get what they need out of regular blog entries that can be easily ignored, they some how get gratification knowing that all sorts of people are now getting updates at all hours of the day that they are doing mundane SHIT. Great I am glad to know that you are are washing your toy poodle fluffy. Its also really nice to know you are alone drinking at a bar AGAIN. Yeah its nice to know that I can trim away unwanted messages at hours of the day I would like to be sleeping, but until I can find some way of defining what I want to receive updates on based on tags related to content such as social interaction request, personal chore completion, or attention grab by anorexic cutter previously ignored on livejournal I really don't think I am going to renew my deleted account.
  • I listen to about 15 podcasting shows a week. What hype was there? Its not now or ever going to be a moneymaker or something controlled by big media. Its doing exactly what it was supposed to do.
  • Twitter is important. This was going to be a blog post, but whatever. I don't know if Twitter itself will be successful, but something like it is key. It changes the AIM/Facebook/Skype, etc. model of "posting your status" around by letting the recipient determine how they receive the data you post (do they have to check for it? Is it in their "feed"? Do they get notified by SMS?). As a poster, you don't know how the information you provide will be consumed by others. This makes it fundamentally diffe
    • We already have simple, open APIs for a few things -- REST is one of the better ways of doing that.

      And yes, I know emacs can do anything. [xkcd.com]

      Here's the problem with Twitter, if I understand it -- it's a centralized service. Like Myspace, or Facebook, it's a walled garden -- you have to register with them, and your ability to "tweet" or do whatever it is they provide lives and dies with them.

      Compare this to a much older technology -- email. Any one mailserver can go down without the "email network" going down --
  • I use it as a unifying force between my blogs, Twittersig to keep it up in my forum signatures, an additional RSS feed for services like Squidoo... Unlike websites like OnXIAm and FriendFeed that force folk to use an entirely new site just to keep up, Twitter goes the other route and merges itself into everyone else's pages.

    How can you argue with that?
  • Wait, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Phroggy ( 441 ) <slashdot3@phroUU ... inus threevowels> on Wednesday April 02, 2008 @12:07PM (#22941616) Homepage
    I'm a bit confused. Maybe I missed the hype that Podcasting has failed to live up to, but I use it every day and I think it's fantastic. Finally, the days of streaming-only RealAudio are gone!

    iTunes is used by bajillions of people worldwide, and the Podcast button is right there, prominently displayed. There's all kinds of content, from public radio shows that I can now enjoy whenever is convenient for me instead of whenever they're broadcast on the air, commercial stuff like NBC Nightly News, tons of independent stuff running the gamut from utter crap to sheer genius, great comedy like The Onion Radio News and the Weekly Radio Address, and probably more I haven't bothered to look for yet.

    Of course I understand that many people aren't interested in any of this, and that's fine, but Podcasting is certainly not a failure.
  • by Joe Random ( 777564 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2008 @12:07PM (#22941620)
    I've always dreaded that, upon growing older, I would become one of those old folks who just don't "get it". You know, like your granddad who doesn't know what all this hype is about the Internet, or your elderly Aunt whose VCR always flashes "12:00". Thus, I've made an effort to keep abreast of current technologies and trends.

    Now I look at Twitter, and I have to wonder, has the "not getting it" finally started to overwhelm me? Is it possible that Twitter isn't something other than just broadcast instant messaging for the ADD crowd? Could it actually be something more than taking social networking to a pathetic extreme, where informing your friends of your breakfast choices and bowel movements via SMS somehow seems like a good idea? Am I going to be relegated to shaking my fists and yelling at kids to "Get off of my lawn^H^H^H^H Internets!" like some sort of crotchety old miser?
    • by nuzak ( 959558 )
      People are apparently excited as can be (all a-twitter you could say) about being able to append 140-character messages in plain text to a page. I really don't think it's a sign of senile dementia that you fail to get what all the fuss is about.

      I think in 50 more years, we're going to be fawning over this newfangled "fire" thing.
    • by n-baxley ( 103975 ) <nate@baxley[ ]rg ['s.o' in gap]> on Wednesday April 02, 2008 @12:30PM (#22941872) Homepage Journal
      It's not just you. It's most people that don't get Twitter. The reason that twitter has become a "phenomenon" is that it appeals to the people who "report" the "news". Bloggers, video bloggers, and old-school reporters basically like to hear themselves talk. A system that lets them stream-of-conscience out to lots of people and keep score while doing it? Jackpot! The rest of the 99% of us don't need this kind of reinforcement so we "don't get it".

      "Nate"
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      While all the comments on broadcasting bowel movements and such are amusing, I think a lot of people are missing the point of how Twitter can benefit normal (as normal as it gets 'round here, anyway), non-ADD adults who have typical non-narcissistic communication habits.

      I /hate/ MySpace and its ilk, but I really like Twitter and am slowly getting some of my meatspace friends who also hate the whole social networking thing to come around and start using it as well. What it's really good for, IMHO, is reconne
    • Sorry for dropping a deuce on your lawn and Twittering about it!
    • by jfitz369 ( 1190735 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2008 @01:32PM (#22942572)
      I'm hearing a lot of "hating" going on but I think it's mainly due to misunderstanding.

      Twitter is not "just broadcast instant messaging for the ADD crowd" or "taking social networking to a pathetic extreme".

      Twitter is useful. I've found work, I've found contractors, I've found new music, I've found new web apps, I've gotten breaking news before major outlets, I've crowdsourced for opinions when making purchases, I've met new people, discovered new restaurants, and I've used it as a personalized 411 in any number of situations.

      I suppose if you and your 3 friends join and just post messages about when you're taking a dump then it's pretty useless. But if you use tools like twittermap.com (http://twittermap.com/maps) to find local people then you can get information about road closings, weather conditions, and other relevant local info. And the situations are endless where it comes in handy to have a local support network of people you are in touch with.

      And aside from the local network benefits, you have a real good chance of communicating/networking with some major players/influencers like VC's, A-list bloggers, politicians, celebrities, company founders, etc, etc...

      So, if you don't like information, new music, or web technology then don't use twitter. Meanwhile, I'll continue with listening to some cool muxtapes (http://muxtape.com) I discovered through twitter recommendations.

      Peace.
  • ..at least in terms of brainwashing and branding.

    Somehow, Apple got people to think it is somehow related to one of their products, the iPod, and worked the word "pod" into a brief, catchy term that merely means "a hyperlink to an audio file." I haven't kept up with the latest iPod models (can they play Vorbis yet?) but all the ones I've seen, don't have networking capability, so the machines aren't (weren't?) even able to downloading a podcast -- and yet a hyperlink to an audio file is named after their

  • While I don't think Podcasting is sidelined, as many here have said, I think it is at an extreme disadvantage to produce due to (an admittedly almost negligible) amount of investment required to, I dunno, not sound like crap. Listening? I've had an iPod for years now, and even those I know without an iPod have other MP3 players, or listen on their PCs, or whatever...

    As for twitter. I use it (@danlowlite [twitter.com], and don't make fun of my shirt, I was young and foolish...).

    Will it be sidelined? I dunno. It's an inves
  • Someone should confirm this but I think there is a plugin for some blogs that will put a snippet of your blog posting onto Twitter with a link. This makes it basically like a glorified RSS feed but also with the added advantage of being easier to use and having broader support.
  • If twitter is as big a 'failure' as podcasting then they'll be quite happy I'm sure. Starts with a false premise, adds in zero facts other than the names of the founders, and the only real 'reason' they call it a future failure is because IM clients can do much of the same thing. Newsflash: you can integrate twitter with your IM. And anyone who only uses one IM protocol is living in the dark ages.

    Oh, it's from Industry Standard. My criticism was redundant then.

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