Twitter: WTF?

closePlease note: This post was published over a year ago, so please be aware that its content may not be quite so accurate anymore. Also, the format of the site has changed since it was published, so please excuse any formatting issues.

Much ado has been made about Twitter since its release (actually, it only really started to get popular after SXSW), but is it much ado about nothing?

To be honest, I don’t get it. I’ve been wanting to blog about this for a while, but I’ve been apprehensive lest I was just missing the obvious (ironically, Obvious is the company that created Twitter). Yesterday, Kris and I were chatting and we were both relieved to hear that the other was absolutely clueless as to the point. At least now we know we’re not the only ones.

So what is the point? According to Wikipedia, “Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service”. Twitter poses the question, “what are you doing,” and users have 140 characters to answer.

In other words, Twitter is like Blogger, but instead having long, pointless posts, there are short, pointless tweets (yes, posts on Twitter are called tweets).

Twitter isn’t the only site offering this, uh, service. Jaiku and Dodgeball both do, more or less, the same thing The real question is, how do companies like Twitter make any money? As it happens, I read an article earlier today that sought to answer that question. The only problem with the article is that the six ways Twitter can make money are all stupid. Twitter Pro? You expect people to pay for… What? What would they be paying for? 280 characters? Merchandise? I don’t mind looking like a geek, but even I wouldn’t wear a Twitter T-shirt.

The bottom line is, in order to make money, the product must have value. Until I can figure out what the value is, I don’t see how Obvious can possibly hope to make any real money from Twitter. So please, if you can explain what the point is and why Twitter has value, let me know.

Until then, you won’t hear a tweet out of me.

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  1. I’m less concerned with Obvious’ ability to make money than I am with the FUNCTIONAL value of the software. What does it add to the internet community? It’s Microwavable Blogging! Who needs that? Of course, the same was probably said when Blogger got its foothold (“who needs to read someone’s diary online?”), but old-man syndrome be damned! I just don’t get it!

  2. Sadly, this program has value due to the short attention span of most Americans. Most people wouldn’t bother to read long posts like the ones you, Kris, and I write. Like Kris said, it’s Microwavable Blogging: short amount of time, but soft, soggy, and tastes funny.

    Tweets? Seriously? That’s the best these genius businessmen could come up with?

  3. Just for comparison, my last comment was 289 characters long (345 with spaces), so that would be the size of two posts on Twitter.

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