Is Twitter a waste of time?

    by Mark Glaser
    May 15, 2007

    “Twitter is like an RSS feed to every boring aspect of your friend’s lives. And your friends are boring. How could they not be?” So writes Helen A.S. Popkin on MSNBC in one of many scathing reviews of the micro-blogging tool Twitter. Twitter lets you update other friends in your social network about your whereabouts on a micro-level from your cell phone via text messaging or through instant messaging or the web. Ever since the recent South by Southwest conference, usage for Twitter has been doubling every three weeks, according to the service’s founders, though they wouldn’t provide exact numbers. But the open question is whether there is a business there, and whether all those Twitter feeds are adding to our realm of human knowledge or distracting us immensely. What do you think? Is Twitter and other micro-blogging services the future of communication or a terrible waste of time? Share your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll share the best ones in the next Your Take Roundup.

    Tagged: microblogging twitter

    9 responses to “Is Twitter a waste of time?”

    1. Ben says:

      I’m probably grossly oversimplifying what Twitter is, and why it’s useful, but to me it seems like just another form of Internet chat. From what I’ve seen of its use (as I have yet to become a twitter-er), it looks like people are using it exactly like AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, and other chat programs were used when they first came out.

      A distraction at worst, but a tool for collaboration at best. In fact, Twitter almost seems a step backwards from most chat programs, as the chat is relatively static, and requires users to seek out your posts rather than using a chat window in which the messages come to you.

    2. Ra says:

      Personally, I don’t think it’s worth the hype it’s getting. It may be useful for very specific niches, but I don’t see what the company really brings to the table in terms of technology or concept. I’m sure most IM infrastructures can be extended to do this, viz. act in broadcast mode and downgrade clients to really shorten message lengths (ironically) and this, to me, seems a step in the backward direction.

    3. I started using twitter.com recently. My friends haven’t jumped on the bandwagon, but I find that it actually helps me to be more aware of my activities throughout the day. I always include my web address in my microblog in case somebody needs me: http://georgeclarkhomes.com/

    4. Ryan Price says:

      I like the idea of microblogging and “moblogging” – I can update from anywhere with my phone, and I have the widget posted on my website and MySpace like asides on the blog.

    5. Twitter is a beautiful micro-blogging community which provides a communication medium which enhances the collapse of time for delivering a message to the community and your friends. Please visit twitter.com/646 and you will see a demonstration of a nice Web 2.0 environment which provides information in a timely fashion.

    6. Mark Loprestius says:

      i think it’s clever but more pet rock than frisbee….lots of neat stuff happening for cell phones. besides twitter i like mocospace.com for chatting with ppl and tagtag.com for building little mobile web sites

    7. Siir says:

      I like the idea of microblogging and “moblogging” – I can update from anywhere with my phone, and I have the widget posted on my website and MySpace like asides on the blog.

    8. Kim kreicker says:

      Twitter is great. We have a circle of friends who all use it, and we all read each-other’s posts. I am reminded that back in the 1960’s, my grandmother would call her elderly widowed sister-in-law every evening, just to “check-in”. They rarely spoke for more than a minute or two. For us, Twitter is the same thing – just a little check-in without the bother of a whole personalized email. My only complaint is that it is DOWN so often – even as I type this, I can’t get in to Twitter! ACK! :-(

    9. mykul says:

      Great collaboration tool as well as chat sessions for those boring days at work. Bringing global communication closer to home.

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