Before I began my degree at the University of Wollongong I knew nothing about the microblogging site. I initially thought that it was just a whole bunch of “OMG, LOL and WTF’s” however now looking into the platform, it is much more then it seems. I have been using Twitter for 2 years now and I find that by aggregating content you can easily find out what you want with efficiency and speed.
Twitter is based on a simple yet seemingly trivial concept that lets people share momentous or mundane moments of their life in 140 characters – Evan Williams, Twitter co-founder.
After further analysis Twitter turns out to have unsuspected depth (Johnson 2009). This depth is thankful to the user. The user is what transformed the platform from a simple conversation between friends to one that defines time and space, tracks real time events and reinvented the way we communicate. It was the ‘hunch’ that Williams took, believing in the users, which really paid off, “when people use your product in an entirely new way, embrace the change” (Williams 2009). End user innovations include the syntax (@nicSALTER) as a way of replying to a specific person and the convention of grouping a topic or event with the ‘hashtag’ (Johnson 2009).
The development of the platform does not jut stop at the user. Twitter has allowed multiple programmers to write systems that use Twitter. An example of this is the website Tweet Deck. It acts as a search engine, aggregating all the content related to a specific topic, allowing users to track real time events like the recent political events in Australia.
However the most impost aspect of Twitter that is paramount of its success is that the platform changed the dynamics of information. Previously legacy media condensed content into easily digestible chunks which we could only consumer. Consumers now control the flow of information, the speed we access information has increased and talk while people are talking – the ability to give and gain feedback instantly. Moreover, we as Individuals may only be one pebble but as a whole we will build a bridge.
For more information on the ‘bridge made of pebbles’ metaphor check out Dr Teodor Mitew’s presentation here.
Johnson, s 2009, How Twitter Will Change The Way We Live, TIME, viewed 18/09/2013, accessed via http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1902818,00.html
Willians E 2009, Twitter and the power of the unexpected; Ted Talk, viewed 19/09/2013, accessed via http://www.presentationzen.com/presentationzen/2009/03/ted-talk-twitter-the-power-of-the-unexpected-.html