I am, somewhat shockingly, entranced by a web 2.0 app that doesn’t involve tagging: twitter

I’ve been keeping an eye on twitter for awhile now. I thought it was interesting when I first heard about it, but I didn’t really see how it would be useful for me. I’m already blogging. I have a tumblelog. I del.icio.us. I’m on IM. How much more do I need or have time for? And this may sound odd, but it looked more social than most of the social software I use. Still, I kept hearing about it:

Twitter is a global consciousness app

What Twitter does, in a simple and brilliant way, is to merge a number of interesting trends in social software usage–personal blogging, lightweight presence indicators, and IM status messages–into a fascinating blend of ephemerality and permanence, public and private.

The more I thought about data streams, lifestreams, and workstreams, the more I wondered if there really was something there. Something about awareness and presence–as Leisa Reichelt put it, ambient intimacy. Maybe it could be productive. (Or, maybe it will convince overloaded technogeeks to go Amish.) Maybe it could be a place to stick those not-quite-formed ideas that aren’t ready for their own blog posts that I keep losing in little txt files. It might be an effective time tracker, given how the vast majority of my waking hours are spent online. Or maybe I’m just interested because I have a soft spot for flash fiction and twitter updates are 140 characters, max.

I realized that the way to answer my questions about twitter was not to keep tracking it online, but to jump in and see what happens. Experiment.

What pushed me over the edge (if I’m going to be honest) was seeing, from Plasticbag.org’s link stream, that Darth Vader was on twitter. That’s when I realized whatever else it might turn out to be, it would be fun.

So here I am on twitter. You are welcome to add/nudge/whatever if you’re there. I’d love to hear from you if you’re curious about how twitter might work out, or if you’ve got great ideas for using it. Or maybe you just want to leave a comment here and tell me I’ve really gone off the geek end this time.

Maybe I have. Then again, maybe twitter will turn out to be part of the path to emergent intelligence.

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