That's a screencast (with time speed increased) of what is I think -- is a twitter group coming from SXSW Festival, a major new media/emerging technology event happening in Austin, TX. Twitter is a "Multi-Person SMS System" that lets you follow your friends via the web, IM, or cell phone and you broadcast what are you doing now an? While there are some good reasons why you wouldn't want to use this tool, seems there's a lot of twitter experimentation going on.
Chris Brogan sent me an invitation back in October and my initial reaction was ... why? What is this? Over the past six months, when I've spotted a twitter badge on a nonprofit blogger's site or if they mentioned it, I checked it out again. Last week, I explored it a bit with Allan Benamer and Peter Gulka and it was fun, but still wondering how it might be of use to nonprofits. It's very distracting.
I really respect Chris Brogan's opinion and he seems to be a 24/7 Twitter user and has blogged a few posts about how it can be useful.
I've also gathered up perspectives from other twitter users from other disciplines:
- Chris Messina suggests it has potential as a "co-working team communications tool"
- Ross Mayfield's Twitter Tips the Tuna
- Liz Lawley says it's the presence that's important.
- Joe Casco talks about remote attendance experience
- Roo Reynolds reflects on ten days of being on twitter
- CogdogBlog's critical edtech take on twitter - here and here
- David Lee King explains it for librarians
There's some discussion about using it as a mobile backchannel in the nonprofit tech space. Kurt Voelker asked "Twitter@NTEN" and submitted his post over at npdigg or rather kokino and there's some comments there too. Katrin comments there will be back channel galore and hopes that Kurt will join the volunteer ranks. Deborah Finn summarized a post by Andy Carvin "Can Twitter Save Lives?" which reminds me of post a while ago by Marnie Webb, although not about twitter.and also suggested some experiments at NTC.
Maybe there is some energy for experimentation, but I also hope there is some room for blogosphere reflection after the experiment:
- What was the experience of using twitter as a back channel of the event?
- Did it bring a value added or a distraction?
- What the experience different for people in the room versus those following remotely?
- For those following remotely, was the remote experience somehow richer than IRC or other text/chat back channels? How does it compare to SL as a backchannel?
- And perhaps a few more good questions here.
I find Twitter both interesting and annoying. Let's see where it goes.
UPDATE: Nancy's Twitter post.