Take a blog, reduce each post to only 150 characters and leave only the comments, which can only be 150 characters in size, and which will cross appear on the commenter’s blog as well. There you’ve pretty much got Twitter, the perfect tool for the Attention Deficit Disorder internet, for people who want to promote themselves without having anything real to say, and who want the illusion of interaction without the personal commitment or the depth. Taking together the people centered appeal of Facebook and the promotional appeal of Digg, Twitter discards all the content, leaving only the links and the virtual soundbites. Naturally Facebook is worried and so is Digg. Half the point of Facebook were the brief updates that let people keep track of each other’s pointless minutia. Twitter does that with much less effort or content. 99 percent of the reason for Digg’s existence was as a way of filtering the internet to find interesting content and for other people to make snarky remarks about it (the other 1 percent were Ron Paul, Alex Jones, Obama, Marijuana legalization, Blogspam spam). Twitter does all that without all the infrastructure. Twitter is the minimalist digital revolution of personal trivia eating its own children. Sure it’s completely pointless and non-productive, but so was Facebook and Digg. Twitter is just more honest about it.
It’s blogging without the blog, facebooking without the facebook and digging without the digg. Is Twitter the future? Probably not, mainly because the future changes and gets shinier, more Web 2.0ey and more pointless every 5 months. I don’t know what slimmed down shiny beast will slither down the Silicon Valley pipeline next waiting to be born, but I’m sure it’s already available as an iPhone app.
Follow me on Twitter, no wait. Please don’t.