Friday, December 26, 2008

did you just say twitter?

twitter is somehow creeping up in the scale of things that make up my life these days. it's probably partly because i've met a few (nice) people from twitter, and they really turned out to be as good, if not better, than they seemed to be online.

but i think it's also got something to do with what people are using twitter for these days.

some time ago, i was telling a close friend about twitter. he didn't quite know what it was (yes, there are actually a lot of people like that), so i tried explaining it to him.

now if you'd ask me "what is twitter?" a couple of years (or even a few months) ago, i'd typically have come up with something on the lines of "micro blogging" - which it is, in a way...but somehow isn't a very nice answer to give someone. especially if that someone doesn't blog. or worse still, doesn't read blogs (yes, i actually explained what is a blog to someone a couple of months ago...i had to actually show her my blog before she understood!!!).

so i tried a new explanation this time:

twitter is a social network.

my friend immediately cut me off with "NOT AGAIN!!!"

i persisted:

twitter is a social network with exactly 3 features:

1. you can follow other users, users can follow you, it doesn't have to be mutual.
2. users post messages either privately or publicly. public messages go to everyone who follows them. private messages go only to a specific user.
3. twitter is flexibile in all points other than the above two: users don't need to be people, posting/reading posts can be using any system, most interestingly sms/mobile web/messenger/browser plugins, etc etc.

he hasn't joined yet, but i'm not taking any bets on how long he takes to sign up :)

1 postscripts ;:

Winnie the poohi said...

I have been on and off twitter a lot.. but somehow it didnt click.. may be i am just too verbose :P