Sunday, November 4, 2007

Are you a twit?

TWIT used to mean "This Week In Tech" and it was (maybe still is) a Podcast about the tech news and gossip of the week, examined by a series of usual suspect reporter celebs in Silicon Valley, led by the legendary, and useless if you ask me, Leo Laporte. The only guy I liked on that panel was John C. Dvorak, who at least has always something meaningful to say.

This TWIT is quite different though. It's you and me and everybody else who's geeky and crazy enough to subscribe to the Twitter, the one line blogging social networking facility that can be fed by Instant Messaging clients and SMSs from cellphones.

Imagine you are killing time at an airport waiting for your flight to depart and you are... playing with your Nokia, or iPhone for that matter. You see something happening around you, funny, serious, whatever, and you suddenly feel an immense "desire" to send a message to the world and talk about it. An one-line message, so to say. Like, "a guy just walked in front of me with a monkey and the monkey smiled at me...". How exhilarating experience that was. You gotta tell people about it... What'd you do? You join Twitter!

Twitter members are sending messages to the Twitter Public space for everyone else to read via their PC and/or cellphone text message reception facility (a.k.a. SMS). As a Twitter member, you answer to the question "What do you do?"; the idea is then to enter a short text message of, say 100/200 characters maximum, telling something about what you are doing and experiencing at the moment. Anything your heart desires... as an example, check the kinda BS I am posting to Twitter in an attempt to "try" the system and discover the "deeper meaning" of such an emerging social networking phenomenon.

The idea is to invite friends who care about what you are busy doing in any given moment of the day, and even get "alarmed" on their cellphone that you've just posted something new... I wonder, unless you are called something like "Bill Gates" or "Sarkozy" or "Al Gore" for that matter, why should more than just a handful people (your wife, close friends and maybe children) should give a didlii squat what you are busy doing, anyways...

Nevertheless, you'd be surprised how many people, with nothing more useful to do, have put in their favorite lists scores of insignificant Jon Doe's who keep discussing their miserable lives in single line blogs on Twitter. It's so bad that Twitter came up with the Twitter Poster, a display of avatar photographs of the most active Twits, with the most popular among those shown by larger size avatar icons. The larger your avatar is displayed, the more followers you got. There are Twits who are being followed by thousands of brain-dead morons in a sort of newly bread one-line textual voyeurism.

There maybe one single occasion where Twitter might be somewhat useful. (Trust me, I consumed a great deal of gray matter inside my scull in order to come-up with this one...) Suppose something critical is happening to you and you just can't reach people you need to reach; you know they follow what you do, because they told you so, but you just can't find their coordinates to message them something urgent (too far fetched, I know...). Ok, then, you twit the message and you know they'll probably read it in the next five minutes it will hit their antennas... It could be a matter of LIFE AND DEATH, that is... noooot??? Gimme a break!

Anyways, that's Twitter. Invented by a big shot someone (I forget who) who became a multi-millionaire first time by inventing another popular social networking initiative (I also forgot which one) that he then sold to either Yahoo, Microsoft or Google... Apparently he's thinking of selling again...

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