December 1, 2008
@ 01:58 PM

Over the weekend, Tim O'Reilly wrote a post Why I Love Twitter where he talks about some of the things he finds compelling about Twitter. Here's my list

  1. Thanks to APIs, Everyone Experiences the Service Differently: Great social software fits itself into the lifestyle and personality of its users instead of the other way around. Whenever I talk to Twitter users I am surprised to learn how differently they use the service. For example, I primarily read and write to Twitter from a Vista sidebar gadget (Twadget) which to many of my coworkers seems weird. Every time I talk to a coworker, I seem to learn a new way of using Twitter from desktop clients like Twhirl and Twitterrific to consuming it on your mobile phone via SMS or a dedicated app like TinyTwitter. Then there are people whose main interface to Twitter is other Web sites either via widgets such as the Facebook Twitter application or aggregators like FriendFeed. And so on...

    The best experience is when you start chaining some of these tools together. I became sold on Twitter once I realized it gave me a simple way to provide status updates to my social network on Facebook (and soon on Windows Live) right from my desktop or my favorite RSS reader.

  2. Real Reactions to Real News in Real Time: I haven't found a better way than to read people's reactions to breaking news as it unfolds.  I used to think that blog search engines like Technorati and Google Blog Search were the best way to keep on top of the Web in real time but Twitter has put them all to shame. It's no surprise that even CNN is now pointing out Twitter's ability to capture the Zeitgeist in articles like Tweeting the terror: How social media reacted to Mumbai.

  3. Protected Tweets for the Privacy Conscious: One thing I've found surprising is that there a large number of people who don't use Twitter as the cutting room floor for their blog like Tim O'Reilly or myself do. I know a bunch of people who follow a dozen or so of their close friends and use Twitter as a way to keep them updated on their daily lives and organize lunch/dinner/drinks. These people often have their tweets protected so only their friends can see them. This one feature makes Twitter less about micro-blogging and more about micro-social networking in my mind's eye. 

Now it's your turn. Why do you love Twitter?

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