Back in July I posted up a brief entry about Twitter which is basically a social networking site that allows you to submit short postings (140 characters) to your own personal page. (You can follow mine here.) The posting are meant to be short comments or updates throughout the day that you add via the website, IM, or cell phone text messages. The social networking comes into play when other members of Twitter begin following you postings and can subscribe to receive your updates over IM and text messages. You can also send direct messages to individuals using a special syntax.
I've heard Twitter referred to as a human side bus, the ability to put your message on the wire and anyone who is subscribing to it can see it and everyone else doesn't even know it exists. The question is, is this ability useful? I've went over a couple scenarios in my head where I could see a benefit. One nice time when I could see it useful is, for example, if you want to go to a bar and you are interested in seeing who else wants to go. If you could get your friends to subscribe to your Twitter feed (which would most likely be a feat in itself) you could through it out on the wire and see if you get any responses. In this particular case you don't care who doesn't want to go, you only want to ping everyone at once and see if you get any interest. It's immediate and saves you the time of randomly calling people in a hit and miss fashion. I could also see it being beneficial if you are having a problem with something and want to throw it out to see if anyone can help. You don't care about who's not available and who doesn't know the answer; you just want a response back if someone can help you out.
As with any technology it can also be abused and Twitter, in my humble opinion has been turned into the Turrets of the Internet. Individuals are using it to throw out every idea in their head and a play by play update on what they are doing each day. "I ate lunch"….. "I'm in a meeting"…."I'm going to the restroom". Random nonsense blurted out that is irrelevant to the listener. The postings turn into Turrets when they don't benefit any of the readers and in most cases don't benefit the writer as well. Who benefits from your posting that you were in a meeting or went to lunch?
Just my two cents. Get the human side bus a bus driver (or at least some category filters).