It’s early days yet, but I’m loving the growing social networking phenomenon that is Twitter.
If you’re not familiar with it, Twitter is essentially like a cross between a blog and Facebook’s status update. Entries – commonly known as ‘tweets’ – are restricted to a maximum of 140 characters, but within that constraint you can let people know what you’re doing, share news, pictures and links to interesting web pages (utilising web address shrinkers such as TinyURL), or whatever else you feel like sharing with the rest of the world.
Twitter has fast become a hub for spreading news virally at a pace which traditional media cannot possibly match. For instance, on-the-ground reports and images of last November’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai were circulating online via Twitter and Flickr long before the major news outlets had even mobilised – at its peak, eyewitnesses were posting 1,000 tweets every minute. And on a social level, it facilitates the proliferation of information about friends, favourite topics and even celebrities: from my Twitter feed, I follow the activities and recommendations of various cast members from Heroes, Jonathan Ross and the cyclist Lance Armstrong.
Like so many of the best ideas, Twitter is incredibly simple. It makes communication easier and quicker in a way that is accessisble – I can read and write tweets from my mobile – without being intrusive in the way that, say, instant messaging can be.
Anyway, you can find me on Twitter here. Join the club: it’s growing fast.