Saturday, March 21, 2009

My latest addiction - twitter

Back in.... I'd say.. 2003/2004, blogging started to take off. There was much hype around blogging since almost everyone started doing it. It allowed even the small guys to express their thoughts and feelings in a professional manner.

Someone like me, who was very much in love with technology, and only wanted to code for the rest of their life, could finally apply things learnt from all those English classes in elementary in high school. I realized how important it was have the ability to write. You could write tutorials to teach, you could write journals to discuss things in your daily life, you could write rants about things you'd like improved....... the list goes on. A blog represented a person's ability to communicate effectively (and still does).

For me, whenever I write a blog post, I feel the need to cover everything about a certain topic in as much detail as possible. This meant I had to find the time to sit down in front of a desktop/laptop machine, write, add pictures, videos and links, when needed. I have many unpublished blog posts saved in blogspot on interesting topics, but I felt that they weren't cooked well enough for me to publish. It felt like a chore - a chore that I very much enjoyed, but didn't get the opportunity to execute on, as much as I would have liked to. I was not always on a desktop/laptop machine, and I rarely had the time to blog when I was still busy studying in university.

But now, there's a new "blogging" service. It's called twitter. twitter (spelt with a small 't') is for "micro-blogging", and it's a really neat idea - you can still speak your mind, but it's encouraged to do so in small doses, more often. With the every increasing presence of mobile devices and platforms, we'll be spending a lot more time on these mobile devices, and a lot less time on desktops/laptops. You now have the ability to speak your mind with a lot more convenience.

Unlike facebook, twitter is social networking that doesn't require an account for the audience. I was never a big fan of facebook because I've witnessed many social networking website before facebook rise to extreme heights, only to crumble because they got too complex - AsianAvenue, hi5, Friendster. They were quickly and easily taken over by something much more simple. If I had to guess, I'd say that facebook will face this eventual demise as well, being replaced by something simpler.

twitter is simple, fast, and clean. It needs to grow in the right direction, and have strong integration with other services and clients apps, which is already the case - there's already a plethora of twitter apps, many of which don't even run on desktops/laptops, many of which support twitpic, and URL shortening . facebook even wanted to buy twitter because they recognized that users like to tweet more than they like logging into facebook and updating their status.

Many news channels even recognize twitter as a compelling form of new media. They've created twitter accounts, and people follow them for news updates. These news orgs even take comments about particular news topics and broadcast them on TV.

Am I "addicted"? Depends on your definition of addicted. I just really like clean, fast and simple new technology - technology that shows great potential. I can still execute my daily tasks without loss in performance, of course, while still speaking my mind at

If you thought that this blog post was way too long for you to read (it exceeds twitter's 140 character limit by a lot, which discourages the audience from reading at all), here's a video that attempts to explain (and poke fun at) what all the hype behind twitter is all about. From the same guys who brought you the Steve Jobs vs Bill Gates video: