Is Twitter Just a Huge IRC Channel?

by Otto on March 20, 2007

Dan Cederholm, author and web designer extrodionair, wrote Reasons I Like Twitter, which was my tipping point to give the site a try.  I tried it out and invited a couple friends to check it out, most of whom seemed to ignore it (which is usually the case).  After a month of light use, I stopped using it completely.  Same with most of the friends I invited.

SXSW happened and suddenly, Twitter was white hot.  Everyone was talking about it.  Some people hated it, some love it.  Everyone and their brother had an opinion.  I kept hearing people talk about how they were going to use it to “mini-blog” since posts have a character limitation.  Not wanting to be left out of the conversation, I went over to Twitter and started following a some opinion leaders, Scoble, Rubel, Calacanis to name a few.

Based on the amount of information they were sharing, it was clear, they way they were using Twitter wasn’t to let people know they were doing a coffee run, it was about creating a hyper-conversation, with everyone AND they were doing a coffee run.  It’s like a giant IRC channel.  Except, with this IRC channel, if you weren’t there at the time, you could still get a history of what was happening.  Or, if you want to have an SMS bill like Jason Calacanis, “oh sh@#$%@#$%t… jsut checked my tmobile bill: 2,367 extra messages… $236.70 in extra charges!!! does tmobile have unlimited?!?!?!?!”, you can keep up with the conversation via SMS.

I still have mixed opinions about Twitter.  I’m enjoying the great energy developers are putting into creating applications for Twitter.  Twitterbuzz, Twittervision (very impressive!), and Twitterholic are awesome examples of what’s possible.  I have a couple ideas for a mashup and if I can get Ben in on the project, might be able to get it done before Mix07.

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