It finally happened. I caught the Twitter bug. And I can't seem to shake it.
I admit, I've been relatively slow to catch on to Twitter. At first it just seemed like a lot of background noise with no real purpose. Silly almost. Like, um, Facebook. Except with Twitter the discussion becomes more relevant as time goes on, not less. The conversations, even inane ones, retain a degree of rawness and truth, cluttered and disorganized as they may be.
Most Facebook pages look like a cyber circus on speed. Everything is happening and nothing is happening. Does anyone even read their FunWall anymore? Facebook has turned otherwise sane people into compulsive spammers without a cause. Everyone is inviting their "friends" to everything. And posting everything to every friend (have you been hugged today?). It's no love-in. For the business person looking for a meaningful way to network, it's a big old waste of time.
From a usability perspective, Twitter's simplicity is refreshing. I only hope the folks who built Twitter keep it that way. When I check my Facebook page, I'm not sure where to look or what I'm even looking for. Sometimes I'm actually scared to look. If decorum in business matters to you, Facebook might not be a good fit for your networking needs.
Twitter, on the other hand, is a charming little place where people quietly muse about all that they see, hear and do throughout the day. Yet words must be minced because, by default, Twitter only allows twits to tweet so many syllables at a time. It's concise and trite all at once. Of course, you can post multiple tweets on the same "thought", but if you're not careful this can appear, well, like you're just nattering for no real reason at all.
And that's what makes Twitter so appealing in a digital world literally brimming with tripe. Twitter doesn't encourage relevance; it is relevant. If 2007 was the year of Facebook, 2008 will be the year Twitter--and probably like minded applications - whittled and honed the zeitgeist of the social web.
Karri Flatla is a business graduate of the University of Lethbridge and principal of snap! virtual associates inc., a virtual consulting firm providing business communications and Internet marketing services to the progressive entrepreneur. Karri also produces Outsmart, the email newsletter for small business with big purpose. Visit http://www.snap-va.com for more information. Click to follow Karri on Twitter.
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