Twitter,, and the future of the internets

Open source Twitter competitor has had a lot positive buzz and powerful early adopters, but it sure does not feel to me like they’ll have any more luck than Pownce or Plurk has in overtaking Twitter as the microblogging platform of choice.

Some of the challenge is simple convenience – people who are on Twitter are going to be reluctant to spend the (small but annoying amounts of) time needed to sign up new contacts and reconfigure devices.

But mostly I think Twitter just enjoys the big advantage of being the service the introduced a lot of people to the art of posting notes to friends and followers and linking to blogs and articles as you see fit.    I don’t like the term “microblogging” because I think few of the twitter comments rise to the level of a blog post, but clearly this approach is gaining ground and perhaps more widespread appeal than blogging because it requires so little time and effort.

Breaking News or Broken News?

This silly Reuters article suggests that a recent Twitter episode suggests that Twitter has  attained some significance as a news mechanism.     I’m a huge fan of Twitter and use it regularly and think it’s representative of a lot of interesting online social trends, but (unlike normal blogging)  Twitter microblogging is hardly a threat to journalism and probably will never be a threat.

The scoop was that Dave Winer asked on Twitter about an “Explosion” in Virginia and the chatter stream (aka Tweets), eventually led to the correct answer – a tiny earthquake in Falls Church VA.     More important than the fact this tiny event was hardly “breaking news”, it was very broken news and probably worried a lot of people until the “explosion” became a tiny rumble.

Again, Twitter is great, but let’s not go stupid here and start thinking Twitter represents a radical restructuring of our information universe.