One night everyone and their grandmother heard about this thing called Twitter and started joining it. Twitter was pretty nifty, a nice little tool where you could shoot a short message from your computer or phone and let folks know what you were up to.
But Twitter’s open API invites third party applications that have made it not only easier to tweet but allow you to tweet just about anything: blog posts, currently listening to, whether or not you washed your hands after you flushed the toilet, and on and on.
And this is where Twitter lost me.
Twitter is a nice tool to supplement an online presence. These days, most everyone has a blog or Facebook profile, and Twitter provides a simple extension to the content you might put on those pages. It was a way to add filler to your virtual content, thoughts between the conversations and rants.
But now it’s more than that. It’s a social network summary itself, an aggregate of every piece of Web 2.0 that someone might be a part of and that’s where it gets overwhelming, not just for me but maybe for Twitter’s servers as well since it’s been down more often than not this last week.
Twitter doesn’t strike me as serving well as a funnel of information about people. There are other applications more suited for that, something like Friendfeed, but even then, there are times when too much information just turns me off to a service or even a friend.
There have been a couple instances of my no longer following someone on Twitter because of some plug in that tweet what they were listening to. Every three to four minutes a new tweet would pop up with the new song they were listening to. And, like a stereo turned way too loud at a party, it drowned out everyone else.
I’m almost at that point with some people who use TwitterFeed, a service I myself use that updates your Twitter feed every time you add a blog post. This is OK, except sometimes people blog a lot. And the same people I follow on Twitter I more than likely am following through my own RSS reader or on an aggregator somewhere. So instead of informing me of things, again I’m overwhelmed.
Twitter struck me as an odd application at first and then I started to get it as a way to fill in the gaps
But now it’s so much more. Too much more. And at a certain point it’s going to turn people off.
People want more out of Twitter and they have third party applications which can provide it, but maybe Twitter really can’t handle such things. So sites like Plurk, which looks like a souped up Twitter that does everything a blog might do, are going to become appealing alternatives. But maybe this is people trying to turn Twitter into something it was created to be the alternative of: a blog.