Twitter: Last Year’s Thing?

Some people are over Twitter: Hugh MacLeod and Misha Cornes, to name but two. So perhaps I should abandon my efforts to get into it, but I just installed twhirl.

To try to get myself interested in Twitter, I tell myself that it’s like the internet itself. What it does is very simple, and it provides immense scope for interesting stuff to happen at the edges.

But come on people, its 2008. What’s this year’s thing? Adobe AIR applications, such as… twhirl? D’oh!

Twitter Airlines

Russell Beatie asserts that everyone else seem to be missing a core – and maybe the most important – feature of Twitter: No spam or trolls. Thanks to engtech for the link. Russell is right that this feature is remarkable, given that Twitter has a million users.

However, Twitter also seems to be the web service of a million outages. So Russell’s post reminded me of the Onion article from 2000 about bad service deterring terrorists from using airlines.

His flight from O’Hare to LaGuardia delayed more than six hours, Hamas militant and would-be suicide bomber Nidal Hanani vowed never again to fly United Airlines.

If you think that jokes about terrorists and airlines aren’t funny, I have too responses. One: shut up Rudy. Two: if we can’t laugh, the terrorists, trolls, and spammers have won.

Prologue: Sort of Twittermattic

Interested in something that resembles Twitter for groups? I wouldn’t normally be, since I don’t really get Twitter.

But Prologue comes from Automattic, an organization I’m interested in, so I did see Matt’s announcement post, and I did read posts remarking on the announcement. Here’s the enthusiastic Allen Stern: “if you have multiple bloggers on your WordPress blog, you can now use Twitter-like short messages to chat internally… With WordPress the dominant player in blogging, this could be a game changer.”

Duncan at TechCrunch responds: Nah. It’s a reasonable enough idea, but… But he does seem to agree with Adam that the most interesting part of Matt’s post is:

Some folks have suggested that using WordPress, Prologue, and RSS you could create a pretty effective distributed version of Twitter. This isn’t something we’re personally interested in, but we’ve made the theme available as open source under the GPL so if you want to hack around it yourself you’re welcome to.

I think that Prologue is a smart move by Automattic. It apparently took only a few person-days to write. It’s implemented as a WordPress theme, and hence can be used at any WordPress site (including, right away). So for a fairly small investment, Automattic demonstrates WordPress as a platform, and opens (GPL-related pun intended) the possibility of something like Twitter, but more business-friendly, being built on that platform.

It has also generated a lot of Techmeme fodder. By the way, my favorite Prologue post so far is the one from Mashable Mark, who describes Prologue as “a re-invention of the wheel… that has legs.”

Finally, Prologue demonstrates that someone at Automattic can spell.

To Twitter or Not to Twitter?

Every now and again, I see a blog post about Twitter that makes me think I should be using it. After all, it’s one of the microblogging or social blogging services that are all the rage these days. Today, that post was by Paul Kedrosky.

Then I go to my Twitter account and get not at all interested in using it. That isn’t just because Twitter badges can’t be used on blogs.

I’m not interested in Twitter because my time is too short to twitter, I’d rather be blogging, my time is too short to follow the twittering of others, and my attention span isn’t yet short enough to be interested in following such twittering. Or at least, that’s my snappiest explanation.