Twitter Thoughts

Standard

So, this twitter thing. Or maybe, I should say, this twitter category, in which I’ll lump Twitter, Pownce, FriendFeed, Facebook status updates, etc.

What to think of it?

First, an admission: I feel like I don’t yet know what I’m talking about, in the sense that I don’t feel the value proposition yet the way I do for other tech like IM, email, IRC, campfire, VoIP, etc. I’ve spent longer than I really enjoyed on Facebook, and I’ve had accounts on many of these systems for a long time, but I haven’t drunk the koolaid enough to “get it”.

Second, a question: What’s the right way to do the experiment? Is it twitterrific, twitterfox, friendfeed, something else? I’ve accepted the 29 “follow requests” that had accumulated and that I didn’t know about, and signed up to follow a bunch of people I know in various ways, and I’ll triage that list down as I expect the volume to be too high. Anyway, we’ll see how the experiment goes. My twitter account is the extremely unoriginal “davidascher”, btw.

I’m also “tracking” the terms Thunderbird and Shredder as well. The former is already proving interesting, the latter not so much =)

One idea Andrew had was to use it to share status among the extended Thunderbird team, inasmuch as IRC isn’t perfect (and, while it may sound shocking to some Mozilla folks, I don’t think IRC is perfect =). At the same time, some of the flaws I see in IRC (like the difficulty of identifying the important stuff among the random chatter, the difficulty in finding out what happened while you were not online, etc.) don’t seem any easier to solve with twitter (as compared to something like Campfire).

Third, an architectural note: The currently hotly debated Twitter scaling problems, as I understand them, seem unavoidable in a centralized architecture. Decentralized messaging systems seem to scale better. You gotta wonder..