The new face of presence: Twitter?

twitter message

Ok I've made up my mind. Twitter is very cool. I can't work out exactly what it is but it just works. The ability to reach one person or many people instantly is great. Its almost a social instant messenger.

I don't subscribe to the RSS feeds because its too quick for a news reader. I did try it out in Touchstone's rolling banner with the RSS but it was still not right. So I mainly consume Twitter through a im window using Gaim. This works best for me, because I can leave it open and watch it through the day. I can also reply or drop things into twitter quickly using jabber. And to be honest its works and looks like all the widget and gadgets which are popping up now.

The API which is available for Twitter is very simple but does what you'd expect. I really want to upgrade to Blojsom 3.0 so I can automaticlly send an update to twitter when I post a new entry which seemed to take David Czarnecki all of a day to write.

What makes twitter intestesting is the presence side of things. Its a step well beyond things like Presence messages on IM and Skype. There updated much more frequenly and you can nudge someone into revealing there precence. This is like the etique of leaving some a message on skype before calling them.

I actually really want to pull my current twitter message into my jabber status message and skype thought. That would be very useful. The thing I also thougth would be great is a summary view for friends which is mobile. It would also be good if Twitter adopted the @username syntax for sending private messages. Everyone seems to be doing it and its easier to remember.

The last thing which is interesting about twitter is the speed of delivery. Sam Sethi's now famous entry on Twitter was the spark which made me understand how fast twitter can be.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.