what is twitter?

So I’ve spent several days on Twitter, alternating between not watching to being interested in the goings-on.

My impression of Twitter is: IRC+IM+Web.

It is like IRC in meeting new people and hearing new voices, and having your voice heard to others you normally don’t interface with directly; like sitting in an IRC channel with 50 others, you can just pipe up with something and get involved. I could have use forum instead of IRC, but forums are threaded and usually slower, while IRC feedback is far quicker and linear.

It is like IM in tracking the people you like to talk to, direct messages, and so on. Unlike IRC where people come and go as they wish (minus your friend lists), IM is far more dependent on you having added them as a friend and vice versa.

And combine that with web accessibility. Companies have long fought against the time-wasters of IM and even chat (ok, fine, IRC is largely blocked because of its prevalence in bot control mechanisms), but people still want IM and chat. Hence, they now use a port 80 web interface to do essentially the same thing. If that is blocked, there are numerous other portals, site plugins, and clients to use to get the access. We’re destined to lose battles against cultural trends unless we’re an organization that absolutely requires high security.

Also, Twitter is easy to use and enjoy. There aren’t a ton of features, which I think is a key to anything “2.0” these days. I know, all sec pros should know how to use IRC and various chat clients (you’re old/middle school, right?), but the reality is not everyone has ever fired up non-web-based IRC before. So, this makes the IRC chat part of the equation much more accessible.

It is definitely not bad, and I do enjoy it, especially since I don’t get to use IM or IRC at work. Now, I can only join one public group of people in my Twitter club, but I can register other names for my other circles of buddies if I had any. 🙂 I could even have a work name and a group with just coworkers about what we’re doing or where we are.