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Why Twitter?

Everyone loves Twitter! Well, actually, only about 6 million people love Twitter, and most of them (from what I can tell) are journalists working on trend stories about how everyone loves Twitter. Since every media outlet in the world appears intent on assaulting me with Twitter stories, I’m finally inspired to ask, What Is The Big Deal?

I know I sound like an old man, or worse, a Luddite with a blog. But I really don’t get it. So I type 140 characters about what I’m doing! And people can read that, then type back 140 characters about what they’re doing!

And this is… fun?

Or is it supposed to be useful? People say Twitter is the future of journalism, which, you know, God help us all. Although I guess most stories are probably only worth no more than 140 characters. “PLANE CRASHES ON HOUSE, 50 DEAD.” That pretty much sums it up.

But do I need this? Do I need to know instantly, I mean now, that a plane just crashed on a house? Some things I do need to know instantly, for example, maybe something like, “PLANE CRASHING ON YOUR HOUSE RIGHT NOW,” but I doubt there’s a Twitter feed for that.

I guess I just can’t figure out what Twitter does that RSS feeds, away messages, instant messages, text messages, blogs, and e-mail don’t already do. Mass subscriber text message service? Is that a business model?

My gut (which admittedly doesn’t know much about social networks) tells me that the venture capitalists who are right now in the process of raising a quarter of a billion dollars in funding for this company – which, remember, has no revenue and only 6 million users – are going to be really, really sorry.

In all seriousness, however, I would be interested to know if any of you think Twitter is worth the trouble, and why.