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From sites to blogs to Twitter to… 23 February, 2009

Posted by Jay Ball in Uncategorized.

twitter_logo_125x29Admittedly, I’ve come a bit late to the whole Twitter thing (and I’ve always tried to be such an early adopter – well, ok, BMX bikes passed me by too – and don’t tell anyone but I’m not on FaceBook).

As it stands, a whole week in, I can kind of see the attraction of Twitter. Essentially, it allows me to get a quick thought out without writing a whole blog post. Of course there’s also the ability to stay in vicarious touch with other people – either those I know or those I’ve heard of. But really it’s a time thing.

It’s interesting to note that at one time putting your personal thoughts ‘out there’ meant creating a website (well, there was a bit of a period pre-internet but let’s skip past that one). Updating was a pain and not exactly conducive to a dynamic, real time experience.

More recently came blogging which made publishing the content of your head way, way easier. Everybody waded in, writing lots, updating regularly. Until life and work got in the way and the posts began appearing at more sedate intervals.

Now, with the imposition of the 140 character limit, dashing off a quick thought is, well, pretty quick. It’ll be interesting to see how this latest phenomenon affects the volume of blog posts. Will people increasingly take the quick and easy over the considered? We’ll see.

Of course, this makes me wonder about what comes next. Micro-tweeting with a 20 character limit? Emoticons only? Only time will tell.



1. Ben Evans - 6 March, 2009

The distinction I’d make as a user of about 3 days who also removed himself from Facebook as it was all getting a bit silly, is that I think blogs are about the writer and their views. Twitter is about how people inform / engage with one another. Twitter for work seems to me more like instant messaging in it’s potential to be a useful business technology.

2. Ben Evans - 6 March, 2009

The distinction I’d make, as a Twitter user of about 3 days (who removed himself from Facebook as frankly it was all a bit embarrassing), is that I think blogs are about the writer and their views. The value in Twitter arises from people engaging with one another quickly and easily, but in a more ‘broadcast’ way. I’d liken it to Instant Messaging without secrets – it’s got potential to be a useful business technology. There is a recent IDC report on tech megatrends which talks about companies who succeed in the next decade embracing social web as a platform for work. I can see Twitter being one of the easier platforms for businesses to get their heads around. The good news Jay is that you are still in my mind classified as one of the early adopters… interestingly #10 Downing Street was in the list when I looked so you’re up there with Gordon on the bleeding edge.

3. Ben Evans - 6 March, 2009

Clearly i don’t know how to post comments either as I seemed to do that twice… sorry.

4. Jay Ball - 6 March, 2009

Hi Ben

Twitter is obviously in its early days where it is moving from a free wheeling ‘wouldn’t-it-be-cool’ idea into something more structured and more commercial (I’m not saying that this is particularly a good thing).

The people doing well tend to be the ones who already have a pretty popular blog or who are a ‘name’. Everyone else is jumping on and having a play (which is a good thing IMHO).

How will business use it? Well, to create their own names (like Scoble did for Microsoft); to do fast news updates (the political parties are going this route although it is also good for events); and as link farms (look what I know).

The one thing that gets me a bit at the moment is the whole push to retweet. As much as I do retweet the stuff I think is cool, the focus on it by so many sites and twitterers feels a little too spammy for my taste.

At the bleeding edge with Gordon… what a scary thought.



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