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January 17, 2008

If You Like Twitter, I'm Not Bitter

We gained some great feedback on why many of you utilize Twitter's microblogging service to tell the world what you're doing, to solicit advice and feedback from your peers, and share resources. And despite my continuing to hold out on using the service, for now, I'm not of the mindset to bash the service.

A friend of mine sent me an e-mail following my note, saying:

"It may be a better play for you to remain as the guy who doesn't like it. Seems like you're somewhat known for your anti-twitter stance at this point. "

Ha. I don't know if I'm known for much, but I won't be holding this contrary position simply for the sake of being the devil's advocate. So, what did my readers recommend I do? Let's take a look!

Points in favor of Twitter:

1. Stories first break on Twitter.
2. It's a good networking tool.
3. You can dictate how you use it.
4. It's not noise if you follow the right people.
5. It offers a live pulse of friends' lives.
6. It's another way to exchange ideas and communicate.
7. It can be used as a journal or notepad.
8. You can follow local people.
9. You can directly interact with bigwigs.

Points against using Twitter:

1. At times it's completely useless.
2. Complete failures under peak load.
3. It looks like a tool for egomaniacs.
4. It's full of life's minutia.
5. It requires too much attention.
6. You can miss conversations.
7. People ego stroke.
8. People post like they have ADHD.
9. Micro-conversations about everything and nothing.

Looks fairly evenly split down the middle. Those who like Twitter say it acts as a backchannel for the blogosphere. Those who hate it see it is as useless nonsense for people already too full of themselves.

Beyond the wealth of comments on the article, many took the time to write their thoughts in detail, which impressed me. I don't know if that's a factor of Twitter's popularity, a good topic, or simply the fact that once it hit TechMeme, everybody wanted to be part of the conversation. Needless to say, below are some of the best reactions:

Tech Confidential: Why use Twitter? Because it's there
Oliver Thylmann: Why I Use Twitter
Clunky Flow: If blogosphere = conference main hall, then twittersphere = buzzing side halls
Ugh!!’s Greymatter Honeypot: The Twitter Debate