It's hard to distinguish between internet fads and applications that have staying power. More often than not, the latest/greatest thing will be forgotten shortly. Making it even more difficult is my interaction with ministers who, perhaps in an effort to stay relevant, seem to dive head-first into whatever new thing comes down the pipeline.
I usually prefer a wait-and-see approach to things. I entered the blogging world at a relatively early point [four years ago this fall] but I knew others who were doing it a year or two before I was. I waited on joining MySpace, mostly out of disdain, but finally gave in [before kicking the habit this past year]. Once Facebook opened to non-college students, I went in shortly thereafter; but now that people of all ages are signing on, I'd predict that its shelflife is decreasing. Still, I think it has more staying power than it gets credit for.
So now, I'm observing the current fervor surrounding Twitter. Surprisingly, I've done some market research among twenty-somethings I know, and few have ever even heard of it. For those who don't know, Twitter is a blogging-like application where you text message/email updates of less than 140 words to a platform that posts it online. Basically, it's like a Facebook update standing alone. Then, you can update throughout the day what you're doing/thinking at any given moment. It has taken off in popularity among certain segments of the population. A few weeks ago, I read an article where a guy proposed via Twitter.
FYI, newbies, when you use Twitter to send a message, it's called a "tweet." I believe the verb form is "twittering."
I've heard people who have declared that Twitter will spell the end of blogging. I just don't see it. Here are some reasons why I'm skeptical, and why I probably won't be "a twit" anytime soon.
1. People don't care about every aspect of my life. Sometimes I blog things that you guys don't care about. That's cool. I understand it. But can you imagine if I started posting everything I did throughout the day? "I'm eating a ham sandwich." "I'm at a stoplight." "I'm doing the deuce right now." It might be cute at first, but then you'd start to care even less about my life. Which leads me to . . .
2. Lack of good content. Whose life is truly so exciting that you want to know what they're doing throughout the day, anyway? It's difficult to continually spew forth content that's interesting in any format, especially so if you're in the practice of constantly texting updates. And no one can be funny all the time, so interest will eventually wane. Additionally, the tweets I do read are usually brutal because of overuse of abbreviations and misspellings. That is enough to keep me from reading.
3. No time filter. This is more of a pragmatic reason, but I think it's valid. Even though people occasionally blog out of anger, there's still a little bit of delay and the opportunity to rethink before publishing. But when you tweet, it's not usually a premeditated action but a visceral reaction to something going on in life. As a result, I'd say that Twitter is a program custom made to allow people to insert their feet into their mouths.
4. The MySpace Syndrome. MySpace didn't die [admit it, it's dead] because of a poor concept. Otherwise, why would Facebook still be so popular? The problem with MySpace was the absolute ugliness/annoyance of its format. Twitter follows in those same footsteps as it is steeped in poor web design. And, apparently, it is an inconsistent program, constantly prone to blackouts. Why would you keep on using an aesthetically revolting, unreliable program? You wouldn't.
In short, I think blogging will continue over the long run; it's evolving, not becoming extinct. Blogging is merely a web platform for journaling— something that people have been doing for centuries. Twitter, on the other hand, is a completely new concept. Of course, new ideas can work, but there has to be merit behind it for it to take off. And as people are inundated with information as is, so the influx of even more will eventually become madding. Something will have to give way. And I think that something will be Twitter. I saw it plugs on for another year or so but eventually goes the way of the wildebeest. I'm calling it a fad.
Someone show me where I'm wrong on this.