Twitter wants to know. After hearing about it on at least 20 podcasts, I decided to check it out. It seems to be nothing more than the next step in the pervasive social networking meme that takes the geek culture by storm every few months.
Twitter allows you to use IM and SMS messages to post what you are doing and to track what others are doing as well. I haven’t tested the SMS version, but thus far the only thing the IM component seems to do for me is allow me to send updates about myself. It doesn’t IM me when a friend I am tracking updates their Twitter. If the SMS version doesn’t send me friend updates, I’d say that Twitter is not even close to reaching its potential.
There are a few interesting uses for Twitter to create real-time SMS mesh networks. For example, it looks like the SXSW Twitter group is keeping folks in touch and helping others find the hot spots. I could see doing the same sort of thing for our DefCon entourage as it would help keep us coordinated and is a nice replacement to the dozens of 1-1 SMS messages we send.
There is also an interesting homeland defense/emergency response angle here as the 1 to many messaging model over SMS would be a very good communication channel for those times when the phone lines are jammed (which is sure to happen in Washington DC). I could see Twitter as a great way to get real-time news, but the infrastructure would need to be set up in advance.
I’m going to keep playing with Twitter and see if I can get a few more friends on there to test it out.
Update: I am getting Twitter messages on my Blackberry via SMS, but can’t seem to send from it and have it post to my Twitter page.
Update 2: Check out “Five ways to use Twitter for good” – Link —>
Update 3: I can send to Twitter via SMS