Netbytes: Small talk is the next big thing for the twittering classes | Technology | guardian.co.uk: "When a plane slid off the runway in Denver on Sunday, Twitter users were among the first to hear about it, because someone who was on the plane sent a tweet – a Twitter message – that said: 'Holy fucking shit I was just in a plane crash!'
Twitter users were also among the first to hear about terrorist attacks in Mumbai, earthquakes in California, and Heath Ledger's death. And as more people sign up, there will more likely be Twitter users around whenever something newsworthy happens. It's like having a wire service with millions of reporters.
Twitter is a 'micro-blogging' service, but it's a more like a combination of instant messaging, social networking and SMS on steroids. You send messages with up to 140-characters, from either a PC or a mobile phone. But instead of going to a single person, they go to anyone who wants to listen: your followers. You, in turn, receive the messages sent by all the people you follow. The result is a stream of messages that you can dip into whenever you like."
Reasons why Twitter 'works'... even though at first glance you think it shouldn't.
PS No, I'm not going to predict that 2009 is going to be the year of Twitter. It may be, it may not be... but whatever happens, it's got some groovy uses and users... and it'll be interesting to see what gap next year's 'next big thing' tries to fill. Twitter does a good line in maintaining communication without making hard work of conversation when you're short of time. It taps into succinct ideas and is a near instant means of exploring an idea with your colleagues - no matter where your colleagues may be. It can range between a brief, thought-provoking discussion to being the text-based equivalent of a 'hi... you alright' nod to a friend. It spreads thoughts in a flash and it's damned useful, all things considered!
Twitter. It shouldn't work. But it does.