The Twitter Predicament

Since my initial write-up of micro-blogging service Twitter, it’s seen huge growth and press coverage (back when I wrote my review Twitter was still small enough for a co-founder to link to my review – unfortunately I can’t find his site anymore, so I’m either stupid or lying – you decide. Update: I found the posting. So for everyone who thought either of the above of me, shame on you. SHAME!)

Part of the massive growth can be attributed to the Twitter API, which enables everyone to plug into the service. And let me tell you, if the Web 2.0 crowd knows anything about anything, then it’s about plugging into an API.

Today there are numerous ways to let everyone know about everything you’re doing. First there are the standard Twitter ways, which include writing in via text messages from your mobile, typing it in right on the twitter page or sending your message through one or the other instant messengers (like GTalk). This, you would think, should be enough ways to make sure that you won’t accidentally forget to tell people that you have indeed just taken a breath. But no, today you’re able to write via just about anything:

  • desktop tools for all sorts of platforms (not Linux of course – we Linux folk are beyond such childish behaviour, aren’t we?) – Twitterific for OSX, Tadget or triQQr for Windows Vista. Regarding the name for the last app, where the hell do they come up with these names? Experiments on a toddler’s speech apparatus?
  • Then there are of course plugins and widgets for all sorts of blogging platforms, so you’re able to not only write, but also see whatever people are doing, right there on your blog. Or both combined, in one wild mashing manner. Check out this page presenting the ten (!) best Twitter tools for WordPress.
  • I already wrote about it in the above point, but hey, widgets! WIDGETS! The one magic word people even organize conferences around. Yes, there are widgets for Twitter, and I can assure you, they are about to take over your life.
  • And there are hundreds of services that now make use of the fun that is Twitter. Like the people who brought us the FoxyTunes plugin for Firefox. They have recently released, you guessed right, TwittyTunes (Keeping in mind that a twit still is a pregnant goldfish, naming conventions have already reached bizarre dimensions). Another service to have added Twitter support is Tupalo, by now my favourite service about Vienna’s hotspots.

The above mentioned uses of Twitter are of course but a fraction of what is really out there. But the trend is obvious, and well, I quite frankly don’t know where it will lead. But I do have a few ideas:

Scenario 1: In about six months, every browser, platform and software ever produced will let you twitter from within. The lifeline will be filled with messages about people’s tax returns, Excel graphs and high scores in ego-shooters. Interest in Twitter will wane, because seriously, would you read it?

Scenario 2: In about six months, every browser, platform and software ever produced will let you twitter from within. The lifeline will be filled with messages about people’s tax returns, Excel graphs and high scores in ego-shooters. Twitter will not be able to cope with the amount of messages and finally implode. People will be shocked for about two hours and then move on to the next big thing. Like Kyte.

Scenario 3: In about six months, every browser, platform and software ever produced will let you twitter from within. The lifeline will be filled with messages about people’s tax returns, Excel graphs and high scores in ego-shooters. Ev Williams will be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He will lose to Arnold Schwarzenegger, but still twitter his acceptance speech.

Scenario 4: In about a month, people will be fed up by the constant need to detail even the most mundane aspects of their life online. Twitter will fail. I will take over the world (maybe).

Well, what do you think? Leave a comment or send it to Twitter. And if your really must know, here’s my Twitter profile.

The Twitter Predicament
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