The PRPD blog [Public Radio Program Directors, for those unfamiliar] features a post about the phenomenon of Twitter. As you may know, Twitter is the latest efficiency for posting content to the web. Users sign up, and they are offered a space of 140 characters to explain what they are doing right then and there. These little entries are archived in a linear manner, and are out there for all to see. The social media aspect comes into play here when users get friends to join the site to “tweet” along with them [they have made a verb of it, already].
I learned about this over the shoulder of a fellow attendee of the Beyond Broadcast meetings at MIT this past February. I jotted down the url and signed up. Much like MySpace, this concept doesn’t have much excitement without a few friends to make it more than just a sub-140 character chronicle of existence. It gives users a chance to be quirky and off-the-wall and ironic, and it could possibly yield one second’s worth of fame via mashups like twittervision. Widgets allow your twitterings to be fed onto your blog, and you can tweet from your mobile–they are 100% web 2.0 compatible.
The PRPD post points out the fact that NPR is now set to tweet. They are tweeting as I type, likely. NPR has set it to tweet their new blog posts. Something that their RSS feeds seem to do just fine already. The NY Times is guilty of the same.
Barak Obama tweets, but John Edwards does more frequently. So do the folks at the fun internet newscast Rocketboom. Even I do it. Look over on the left-hand side for that widget on this blog!
The appeal to the tweeters is in the instant posting of your own life and seeing what others are up to, for fun. When major communication companies do so just to thrust out in front of users with little other sensitivity or effort, I must say the end result falls flat.