Web pages are complicated. People want to share their life stories and pictures, but learning HTML is hard (ask Trina). So the world of blogging was born.
Blog software has made it very easy to set up and maintain your content, whether it be a running account of how all your cat’s hairballs look like past presidents, or something much, much less significant. Blogs do, however, have the problem that they often get abandoned for great lengths of time (Dick’s blog comes to mind :D).
So, what’s today’s generation of zero-attention-span kids to do? Sign up for twitter, of course.
Twitter is, Don MacAskill appropriately called it, a service for microblogging. It’s optimized for very short, simple posts. It will even prompt you periodically via SMS or IM to find out what you’re doing. After a quick setup you can add your mobile phone number and Twitter will send you an SMS every 24 hours if you haven’t updated (a reply to the SMS will post right to your twitter log). You can also add twitter as an IM buddy if you’re using the right service.
It’s a fascinating little toy, with all the needed components to make it entertaining for all of about a week (friends lists, ease of use and cool little widgets to add to your other web pages). For me, however, the signal to noise ratio is way too high to be useful. There is a public timeline which is sure to get crowded with legitimate and illegitimate spam (when I checked there were two posts within minutes from BBC sports) and switching to a private timeline will require a set of friends as exhibitionistic as yourself.
Still… entertaining enough to play with for a while… though I won’t be able to afford to have the SMS notifications turned on (the closest local text is the UK).