Twitter and Micro-blogging

Much was written on blogging and personal pages. Many of us belong to the "peeking" culture and expose ourselves in one or more social networks. If you've uploaded your pictures to Facebook, posted on your personal blog and store your music on Myspace- it's official. You can now get to know me, my friends and colleagues; the opposite is equally true.


However, this is all evidently not enough for all us networking addicts. Here comes a new, more intensive phenomenon. The classic blog indeed blurred lines of personal boundaries; the micro-blog takes un one step further. This is a nearly-instant diary, a live and instant report of anything that constitutes an answer to "what are you doing now?". This is then reported all your friends via the internet and cellular networks.


Like all internet trends, this phenomenon takes different forms on different websites. Facebook allows you to report what you're doing right now, in life or on the internet, Microsoft recently added a feature that allows freely reporting of your current activity and update according to the song you're currently listening to. These all affect the context of our conversation with our chat partner, knowing their whereabouts and current state.

The main medium in this field is Twitter, which is based entirely on micro-blogging. Used by leading figures in American culture, it has become a hit. Commercial parties such as internet websites, PR agencies, musicians and stores have begun using it to announce their events. It is very easy to join and leave mailing lists; this might be a new kind of spam, but it is fully controlled.


In the spirit of open source technology, twitter provides development tools for programmers that in turn created tens of software and websites that automatically report to Twitter ("I'm just checking the mail" when one enters their email inbox, or "I'm in a meeting till four" if you've scheduled a meeting in your computerized schedule). Just to save us the effort.


Micro-blogs are far more interesting as a phenomenon than an activity. This new platform, which enables us to immediately report and read live-feeds is another level of the new media that shouldn't be ignored. Merging Micro-blogs with other technologies (e.g. pictures uploaded immediately after being taken, a message reporting vacant parking) can be useful in the near future as more than a pastime addiction.


Examples of this phenomenon in large organization include

  • Convention, news and events communication tools (not unlike the portal's rolling message board, the same idea- one step forward). Used at Ernst & Young.
  • A tool for advertising professional teams' activities (similar to communities/collective blogs or Wiki but focuses on short messages). Used by IBM and Microsoft.