Saturday, May 16, 2009

You may have heard or read about it?
Twitter is described as;
A social networking and micro blogging service that allows you answer the question, "What are you doing?" By sending short text messages 140 characters in length, called "tweets", to your friends, or "followers."

The short format of the tweet is a defining characteristic of the service,
allowing informal collaboration and quick information sharing that provides relief from rising email and IM fatigue.

Twittering is also a less gated method of communication:
You can share information with people that you wouldn't normally exchange email or IM messages with, opening up your circle of contacts to an ever-growing community of like-minded people.


So I went to twitter signed up and joined and was presented with my very own twitter page.
This allows you to follow events and people that interest you.
Within a few minutes I had a follower or someone who had signed up to read whatever it is I have to say.

This was odd because at that point I hadn't written anything.
I waited, and a little later and I had another and button that allows me to follow them.
This made me think that the point of twitter for a lot of people is just to get lots of followers.


From my limited experience it would seem largely that most people want to see that people are following them.
Perhaps it is a form of fame that allows people to think they are not alone and maybe even interesting.
The content of the 140 character messages are to be brutal "pretty dull"
Twitter messages live.

It has also been used as a marketing tool.
You look for people who might be interested in your services and follow them.
You can reply to their tweets via the tweet email and drop your website address or product into the message.


It could also be used to find out how and why people respond to some things rather than others.
One of these interested me a user calls him or herself a black cloud.
"I am a black cloud that is following you." Is the message you get from them.
When you click the follow button the message comes up.
"You are now following a black cloud." Their followers at the last count over 1000 and unusually the numbers following more or less equalled the 'followed' number of "a black cloud".

The user never seems to write anything but has already mastered the art of tweeting without any effort.

Where now?

I think people follow black cloud because they are responding a joke and the message "I am a black cloud that is following you."
Followed by "You are now following a black cloud." Is enough to control the whole system.
As the user never sends any messages there is never any updates so the user will only keep his followers by
1. People still following because the joke is enough or
2. Because the user gets lost in the increasing number of their followers.

I will be trying out ideas using this principle with twitter and see if it goes anywhere interesting.

other references