2007: Year Of The Twitter Tweet
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Another technology phenomena this year that I could not allow to escape the clutches of my "Year of..." list was the breaking out of Twitter.
If you haven't used Twitter to send Twitter "tweets" to your Twitter followers -- those individuals who subscribe to your Twitter tweet feeds -- then you missed one of the biggies of 2007.
For those who follow this blog regularly, you may remember my commenting at the time on what I thought was the tipping point of Twitter, at the South By Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin back in March of this year.
Though I had toyed around with Twitter prior to that, I stood by in wide-eyed amazement as Twitter took off like an uncontrollable flash fire there in Austin, as SXSW participants shared their thoughts, observations, and lunch plans via Twitter with their friends on the ground and their followers around the globe.,
"Twittervision" TVs were set up in the hallways so attendees could follow participants' tweets throughout the festival. Due to the pervasive wi-fi access at SXSW, attendees of one conference session could share their real-time impressions with attendees in another session, and vice versa.
I've no doubt people left mid-session to attend another, apparently more interesting, session because of another Twitter's tweet.
Talk about a harsh reality.
Beyond SXSW in Austin, Twitter seemed to take on a whole new life. Its open API allowed for other applications like Twitterific and Tweetr to make it easier to follow friends' Tweets, and its already excellent mobile phone capabilities via SMS blossomed with full-on applications written for various mobile devices (including my Blackberry).
Suddenly, you could follow your friends' tweets wherever in the world they were, wherever in the world you were, and all you needed was a good mobile device.
I could now know what a friend was up to in Silicon Valley just as easily as I could an amigo halfway around the globe, and the rising Twitter adoption quickly heightened the network effect.
I could use the service to stay in touch with someone I needed to stay in touch with -- or a whole group of people, for that matter -- in real-time, and with a very easy-to-use interface. It was as though time and space were completely eliminated from the social networking equation.
Unbelievably, at least so far as I can tell, the Twitter folks haven't even attempted to monetize their fast-growing service.
I suspect that won't last for too terribly much longer, as the service is just too valuable and too widely used to be ignored by business interests, either as an ad-supported business or, at minimum, as an acquisition target by one of the big Internet players.
In the meantime, the Twitterers of the world have united and it's a special Tweet for all who share in its bounty.
I am glad to be one among them.