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Where does the Twitter love come from?

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Nat Torkington asks on O’Reilly Radar:

…we want Twitter to succeed, so even when there’s armchair engineerly it’s largely good-natured. It feels like we’re on Twitter’s side, and that’s an amazing and rare thing for a company to have. Any other startup and the users would have bolted to any of the improbably-named Twitter-clone startups after Twitter’s first weekend with no tweets. Any thoughts about what they’ve done to earn this patience and affection?

My 2p to the twittering about this:

  • Twitter doesn’t get in the way. The inferface is very simple, to the point of oversimplicity. But it works. I customised mine to be as clean as possible and others did the opposite.
  • Twitter is clean. another design related feature is that there are no fancy popups, no hovering graphics, which makes it intuitive, far more so than, for example, plurk.
  • Twitter has always served a useful purpose to me before it suggested any benefit to those who built it.
  • Twitter is ours. In the early days twitter was so simple that some might have missed the point. I sort of did until the twitter tipping point at the SXSW in 2007. The functionality has evolved around usage, e.g. @USERNAME sprung up from people trying to communicate with each other, the proto-conversation that is now happening all the time. Ditto with DM.

In other words, Twitter is user-driven, sometimes to destruction.

Twitter down

I do not use Twitter much, I dip into it occasionally, when there is something to share or when I am travelling. Perhaps it makes me less connected than most but even the haphazard use of it makes me see how people get addicted to it. The sense of ownership of the tool and ability to use it at your convenience is what keeps people loyal, if annoyed, to Twitter.

There is a new ‘microblogging’ kid on the block, Plurk. I signed up, visited but haven’t settled in. Part of my problem was that the functionality wasn’t as intuitive and I haven’t really worked out how to do things I am used to do on Twitter. The interface is busy and messy and requires too much effort on my part. As Lloyd Davis puts it (hm, it appears I can’t link to this particular ‘plurk’ as I can do to a specific tweet. I rest my case, m’lud.):

Plurk requires too much continuous attention, not partial enough.

Jaiku and Pownce predate Plurk so I can’t see why Plurk should be able to lure Twitter users away. Unless they are seriously fed up with Twitter downtime and already made up their mind about the other two. Let’s see how it goes… and twitter.

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