Some quick thoughts about twitter I've been meaning to jot down:
- The solution to twitter's problems will not be twitter. This is not a prediction made because I bear ill will towards twitter -- they had a cool idea and ran with it. It's because the problem with twitter is that it's a service that requires a distributed server/client base and a messaging protocol, and instead they built it on the web using a centralized infrastructure. It has nothing to do with how they built it, or the technology they chose. It's not because they used Ruby on Rails instead of symfony. The successor to twitter will be something built with XMPP or something similar -- a messaging protocol that is actually designed to be doing what twitter aims for.
- Twitter is probably the largest working example of a web of trust. I don't mean this in the traditional cryptographic sense, but rather in the sense of regular personal trust. Already, via twitter, I've been introduced to a wealth of people that I'd normally not only have no reason to be talking to, but that also would have no reason to believe I wasn't just another freak on the Internet (which of course I am, but don't tell anyone). By virtue of a simple click to see who's "following" someone, you get the instant verification that "oh, this person is good people." It's pretty cool.
- How I explain twitter to people: it's a chatroom on the web where you're gagging/ignoring everyone in the world by default.