I've been hearing about this thing they call 'Twitter' for a while. This week it's also come to light that both Barack Obama and Stephen Fry both use it regularly. I'd better check it out I said to myself as I clicked open a browser window and fired in the URL.
To start with I was a bit confused...
Effectively all it is, for those of you who may not know, is a way of answering the question “what are you doing?” in less than 140 characters. All your Twitter ‘followers’ can see your answers to this question as often as you care to update and they care to check the site out. In turn you can choose to follow as many Twitterers as you wish. All updates then get displayed in Chronological order on your Twitter homepage.
You can access this information in one of a number of ways - RSS feeds, Facebook, your mobile phone, Instant Messengers the list goes one. I have already added the Oast One Twitter RSS feed to this blog and I could even integrate it as a Flash application should I so choose.
As I said - to start with I was a little confused. Why would you want to be continually updating what you are up to when you have a million and one ways to already do so? MSN away messages, Facebook statuses, Blogs, email, SMS, etc etc etc... But it’s actually quite addictive. There is a real sense of community when you see the updates rolling in.
After signing up this morning I noticed that Chris Moyles (the Radio 1 DJ you either love or hate... or really hate) had signed up too only a few seconds before me; so I added him to the people I am following as a comparison to my own followers. No doubt his followers will spiral exponentially until, in his own words, he gets bored and stops using it whilst mine will probably get to about 10 then die out. Forcing me to 'get bored'.
It certainly does seem that through communications the world is becoming a much smaller place.
Oh - and Barack Obama is following me too...