# Thursday, 08 May 2008

Breaking new on CNN:

"Bill Gates one of the world's richest men, a philanthropist and humanitarian was denied an entry visa to Myanmar today in his effort to help with the victims of the Cyclone. The Military junta was worried Bill would try to buy the country. Bill Gates was very disappointed and was quoted as saying "I just wanted to help a few million people." So instead he decided to help a different million people, those who hate their friends sending them Twitter updates. Bill bought the company with some pocket change and closed it down to save humanity the pain of tech geeks micro-blogging about picking their noses. Microsoft's stock jumped 100% on the news."

Since Bill did not really save the world from Twitter, I will tell you why I don't Twitter.

1. Everyone wants to be a Microcelebrity. Get (micro) famous on Facebook, Flickr and Twiter? Only an ego the size of Silicon Valley thinks that people actually care about our daily lives. I know that I live a dull life and don't feel the need to boost my ego to Twitter and think that you actually care about it. I don't want to be a microcelebrity, if I can't get a role in a movie opposite Cameron Diaz, then screw it, I will just go back to what I am good at: writing code.

2. "I use Twitter so my wife knows if my flights are delayed." People who are way smarter than me give me this excuse. The only person who cares about your flight is the person who is picking you up at the airport, so why broadcast that to the whole community? Ever hear of an airline alert? Far more reliable then your 3G network. I use airline alerts and I take public transportation to and from the airport to offset the huge airline CO2 emissions.

3. "I use Twitter to update my status." What makes you think that anyone cares about your status? Also in the post 9/11 world, should you be broadcasting to potential criminals and terrorists your whereabouts? My DPE just checked into the San Francisco Marriott last night, maybe criminals want to go and rip him off (since they know he has iPods and expensive stuff with him due to his Twittering). Worse yet I travel to places where they kidnap businessmen for ransom or worse (like in Pakistan), should I updating my status to them?

4. "Twitter is good for Conferences." If you need to read Twitter feeds to know where the cool parties are, you should stay in your room coding and eating room service.

5. "Twitter is fun." Yes fun for people who would rather play baseball on an XBox than outside with a real ball. Twitter is a time suck and you could be using that time to ether be working (if you are Twittering at work) or just going and doing something fun. If you are doing something fun, disconnect and enjoy it. I don't care what you are eating for dinner, the score of the baseball game, or how is traffic on the I-95.

The last reason why I won't use Twitter is that it is going to fail. Meaning, micro-blogging may succeed and eventually I will have to do it  (but I have still resisted Facebook!), but Twitter won't be the platform we use. First of all it is slow and times out all the time since it is built on Rails and Rails just doesn't scale. Even if they rewrite the site, someone else will move in for the kill. Remember Friendster? They never overcame the damage of their performance problems. Second, most likely we will just alter our Blog feeds to have have micro-RSS feeds and anyone can build a client for it. No need for a central server.

Thursday, 08 May 2008 11:56:02 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Freakin' hilarious and spot on. I'll twitter a link to your post.
Kim Matlock
Friday, 09 May 2008 13:56:07 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
twitter is great for spamming video links.
Darren Kopp
Friday, 09 May 2008 14:13:53 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Hey man,

Very interesting post. Got me thinking about why I _do_ use twitter. I really don't use it for any of the reasons above (although I _do_ care about what my friends are doing and they me, and I have a separate, private account just for that). However, on my public account I use it for the following:
* Asking questions of others (sort of like a forum, but _far_ more convenient) * Tech support - I know, we have forums and phones for that but I have gotten answers from people I've never heard of before who develop the product I'm asking about * Open discussion - being able to throw together a quick 140-character post of something I'm working on is much easier and more convenient than writing a long blog post. Sometimes I get some good responses and that sparks some great discussion; but it's all real time and much more convenient than blogging

* Fun - it really is just fun; I've met some great people that I now follow on Twitter and it's an opportunity to continue conversations from conferences, etc, or just have fun with people

In the end, though, I'd say it's mostly about convenience. At least, that's it for me. YMMV.

-Joe
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