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Quote of the Day - Tall, bald, and pouch-eyed, with a velvet voice, a droll wit and the face of a cunning bloodhound a performer who made audiences twitter and roar with subtle ease. - Robert D. McFadden

Can Someone Explain Twitter To Me?

I'm a card-carrying computer geek.  I actually have a pocket protector and sometimes wear my floodwater pants too high with my white sox showing.  Well, for those who know me, I'm kidding about that last sentence.  I really am a computer geek, though.  As proof, I submit Exhibit A - I am typing this post from a computer in my family room.  Actually two computers:  one I work on and a media center hooked to the plasma screen.

See?  I told you I was a geek.  Heck, I even understand HTML better than Spanish - and I live in Southern California where Spanish is almost our native language.

But I don't get Twitter.

It's not for a lack of trying. I made a point to stay on it for two weeks.  I followed others and signed up for news blasts.  It just tied up my telephone with what for me was largely useless information.  I really don't care if my friend in New England missed his flight because of snow.  That's part of living there.  That's why I live in Southern California.  I don't need to relive that experience.  In fact, it's exactly why I left there, and why I will call my family in the dead of winter when it's warm out here. 

On the other hand, I get FacebookLinkedIn even makes sense.  Plaxo is a bit of a different story - it's just plain boring.  I even get semi-social networking sites like Avvo (probably because I'm on their advisory board - disclaimer there).  I can see pictures, get updates, make more friends and scroll through the list of what they're doing. 

And no, it's not just the pictures.  In case you haven't notice, I'm really into words, so the concept of 160 characters isn't the problem for me.  It's just that it doesn't provide me anything more than I can get elsewhere on the Internet - with more accouterments.

When you strip a service down to its most basic element and there's still nothing there, then it has no value.  Sure, 15 million people are on Twitter at last count, but what's there that isn't elsewhere?

What is Twitter able to accomplish that can't be had elsewhere just as quickly and without the expense?  And if there's no advertising on it, how does it pay for itself?  Or am I just a twit for not getting it?

Posted by J. Craig Williams on Monday, April 20, 2009

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