Warning: If even think you might have a hint of an addictive personality you’re going to want to skip this post. Just come on back tomorrow when we are talking about something safer for you. I don’t want to be the one who leads you astray.

I’m serious. If that’s you don’t read this.

Unless you’ve been shipwrecked on some remote island lately you’ve probably heard all the buzz going around about the hottest new thing since YouTube came down the pike.

Twitter LogoPositioned precisely at the intersection of where narcissism meets voyeurism, Twitter has become the latest web rage. Their self proclaimed mission is to be A global community of friends and strangers answering one simple question: What are you doing?

The idea is that folks type in a little blurb of 140 characters or less telling the world what they are doing at the moment. Oh. And it is expected that other people will read those blurbs.

If you are anything like me, when you hear that for the first time you thought, “Well that’s just stupid. I’ve got too much to do already without managing chronic world wide updates about on the subject.”

I remember reading an interesting Twitter write up by Kathy Sierra right after Thanksgiving last year and being thoroughly underwhelmed at the whole idea.

So I resisted jumping on the Twitter bandwagon.

Resistance is Useless

But much like Arthur Dent facing the overwhelming Vogon bureaucracy my resistance was doomed to fail from before it even began.

It shames me even more to admit it, but ultimately I succumbed to peer pressure. (Thank you very much Jim.) I think it was on a Skype chat that I was told that I just had to get on Twitter.

I can’t remember if it was because all the cool people were doing it, or if I would get cooties for not doing it myself.

Or maybe it was just that he’d mentioned it to me for something like the 17th time in a day and a half and I thought I’d just check it out, prove to myself how dumb it was and then get on with my life.

Twitter’s Tipping Point

So a week ago this past Thursday I took nearly 2 whole minutes to open my own Twitter account and at 10:59 PM posted my first “Tweet”.

The opening of my account was very nearly right at the tipping point for Twitter, I think. Alas it had nothing to do with me directly. But this past weekend Twitter was all the rage at South by Southwest where they were a web award winner, taking the blog category. Personally I think that is an interesting category choice for them. Probably not where I would have expected a service like Twitter to compete, but hey.

Anyway the Twitter line was all ablaze with folk like Robet Scoble at SXSW awash in manic Twitterizing.

The Addiction Takes Hold

In spite of all the action and gobs of tweets heading my way I still wasn’t too enthused about the whole deal. Going to the site and hitting the refresh button just doesn’t work so good for me when I’m so used to getting blog feeds in my reader.

Then I blundered into their IM integration. Oh, that’s bad news. Imagine a free flowing river of petty strangeness flowing right into my GoogleTalk account. I can tweet to my heart’s content right from the same place.

I can have the IM going at my desk at work.

Thank God there’s the option to send in the word “OFF” to stop the madness every once in a while. Otherwise I suspect the entire Western Civilization might be in danger of coming to a complete halt.

Imagine a Tuesday Night Open Comment Night over at Successful-Blog. That never ends.

And I see you can even get your twitter feed sent to your cell phone. I can’t even wrap my head around that kind of craziness.

But I won’t discount that it might be very hard on a guy’s text messaging account.

Twitter is, after all, the new internet crack flavor of the day.

Will It Last?

The question is whether Twitter is here to stay or just a passing fad. My initial impression was the buzz will die down soon enough and Twitter will fade into a small core of die hard users.

But after an entire week plus a couple days I’m not so sure that it won’t last.

I’ve seen some folks I highly respect drink the Twitter Kool-Aid in the last few days. So we’ll see.

As with anything, only time will actually tell us if Twitter is the next YouTube or the next dot-bomb.

The John Edwards campaign is Twittering. So do you think it will influence the campaign?


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