Twitter THIS!

After a week in a very mellow groove where I only read friends’ feeds, I’m catching up. It really doesn’t take much to catch up on the geek feeds because the only topic I see over and over and over again is Twitter. Marshall Kirkpatrick has a “Twitter Top Ten“, the Blog Herald wants you to answer the question “What Do You Use Twitter For?“, Guardian Unlimited reports that the “Twitter Crowd Goes Bananas at SXSW“, and Robert Scoble has 1004 followers, but no cell phone for a private conversation with Maryam.

Ever the gallant fellow, Scoble invited Maryam to visit his Twitter page to stay in touch. Here are some examples of the incredibly scintillating conversation on that page:

cksthree someone is impersonating Jason:… pretty funny half a minute ago from web
Flickr leahjones Kudos to the Southside Chicago Board of Tourism for hysterical ads on the red line. less than a minute ago from txt
Photo_11 zzztimbo Still need chicken. 1 minute ago from im
Aldon0306 ahynes1 @scobleizer: Tell Eric not to worry about it. He can post just eating. I just finished eating. BTW, TwitterBox rocks

If you’re really into Twitter, you can have a TwitterClub, where you can follow the whole gang!

Every time I see someone tittering about Twitter I have to do a reality check. What is it about this thing that has so many otherwise intelligent folks all googly-eyed? If I didn’t know better, I’d think there was a geek-wide conspiracy to make us like this stupid, timewasting, useless black hole of an application whether we want to or not.

Am I just seeing this through the eyes of someone who was never particularly interested in popularity contests and small talk? Is there something to this that I just don’t understand? Or, does the buzz and apparent love of Twitter point to the need that most people have to belong to a group, to identify? These are serious questions. I have friends, on and off line, but I don’t feel the need to know what they’re saying, doing and thinking in real time, and I certainly don’t feel the need to share what I’m saying, doing and thinking, either. Does that make me someone on the social fringe?

If someone could leave a comment giving me one truly practical reason to use Twitter, I’ll sign up and add them as my first friend, because I seriously don’t understand the buzz around it.

Update: Lots of great comments to this post! Robert Scoble says Twitter Hate is the new black…but I’m not hating it, just trying to understand it. Cory Cooperman Matt D wins the “truly practical reason” challenge, though. Living in earthquake country, it could indeed be a way to connect with others out of the area in the event of a disaster or emergency in a broadcast fashion, rather than one-on-one text messaging. I have, therefore, joined Twitter (username: Karoli) and if I can figure out how to add friends, he’ll be first.

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Published by Karoli

Card-carrying member of the human race.

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