Twitter. Once upon a time, a twitter was the sweet, high-pitched sound of a bird. Now, it’s more likely associated with the electronic pings hitting you through IM, your phone and the web via the new aptly named web company-Twitter. Although Twitter has existed for a year, over the past couple weeks it has seen explosive popularity and created quite the blogosphere buzz. Twitter is a cross between instant messaging, text messaging, and microblogging with messages that are limited to 140 characters and can be sent and received via phone or the web.
A few high profile users are twittering including Microsoft’s Robert Schoble, TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington, and presidential candidate John Edwards. One observer noted this is a good move for Edwards, “People do care…In a way, by displaying the candidate in more of a real-time sense, it feels more casual, and almost seems like it makes him more accessible.” Edwards twitters, on average, about once a day but others twitter much more, some too much. BusinessWeek reported, “Twitter forces into the open a basic schism—between those who want to know what everyone is doing all the time and those who are revolted at the idea of giving up that information or caring about anyone else’s.” It has also re-opened the privacy debate. Messages, by default, are public, searchable, and archived and may lead to lost jobs and ruined relationships. It’s also likely that spammers will target the service. Woot may have become the first company to market goods via Twitter. Is this another sign that we are becoming too connected or will this enhance social aspects of the web?
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