105 million registered Twitter users. Wow. At my place of employment I will occasionally have people who have heard of Twitter but aren’t exactly sure what it is ask me to explain it to them. I’ve vacillated between a few different phrasings (I abandoned “micoblogging” after realizing that “blogging” itself was often as equally an opaque of a subject), but lately I’ve settled on “the sharing of very short, real-time status updates.” The last time I described it this way, the conversation went something like this:
"Now, I’ve heard of Twitter. Could you explain it to me?"
"Sure! Twitter is basically a social networking tool that allows people to share real time status updates with each other."
"Status updates? What’s an example?"
"Uh, like, ‘I just ate a cheeseburger.’"
(incredulously) “And it interests you to know when your friends are eating cheeseburgers?”
(smiling sheepishly) “I find the whole thing fascinating, actually.”
Only describing it as “status updates” misses the mark though, doesn’t it? I’d say that at least half of the tweets passing through my feed aren’t status updates as such but more likely links of potential interest, funny quips/amusing observations, or promotion/advertising of some sort.
How would you describe Twitter to someone unfamiliar with it?
Twitter on paper designed by Gerardo Obieta
(via Laughing Squid via Courtenay Bird)