So, mere days (okay, it's been a week or two at least) after I wondered out loud about what the hell the point of Twitter might be there have been a whole lot of people wondering similar things, Nicholas Carr's being my favorite so far. It's a sort of easy target, like making Dan Quayle jokes or something. I'll grant that weblogging in general has had a few too many moments in the sun for what amounts to a brief sizzle and spit on the grill of cultural relevance. There isn't a whole more to it than people talking and whether this is to themselves or with an audience of a hojillion it amounts to a conversation, or more properly a dialog, that people can read and gain interest in over time.
Twitter seems the opposite of this: you're famous, you dribble out soundbytes, and people who care wait there for them to drop like golden poops from heaven. Yes, there is a bit of this involved in weblogs and probably more than any of us participating would like to admit but there is at least a contextual base for what all of these words mean when collected together. Tweeting (I may actually hate this term more than 'blogging' which really says a lot since I can hardly type it without enclosing it in quotes so you can be absolutely and totally sure that it is not terminology found in my functional lexicon) assumes that you have some context as a person before anyone would be interested in your clipped output. There is nothing I could ever say in that few characters that even I would want to read.
The part that makes the whole thing somewhat creepy is the comparison that others have made to instant messaging only without an intended recipient. Yes, there are friends among twitter-ers but there isn't a relationship other than that of an eavesdropper on a web celebrity to flesh those relationships out. It is a little creepy and weirds me out more than a little but I like knowing that the piles of words amount to something, at least in my own mind, and that people can say 'Hi' or tell me that I'm completely wrong explicitly.
How much am I missing here because I would love to be proven wrong. This becomes even more important as so many folks that normally squeeze good or at least coherent things out during their 'on' hours have wasted so much brain juice on what seems like a black hole for ideas.