Nope, we’ve not rewinded to 2009… I’ve simply been meaning to pen some brief words about my appreciation for the social network for quite a while. I use it so much I almost feel I need to share at least some of my thoughts.
Ultimately, it’s main appeal with me is the sheer openness and public nature of it all. It’s the side of the social network genre that I’ve come to realise I much prefer. Getting into discussion and sharing opinions with people you’ve never met, from all parts of the world, will never lose it’s appeal with me. I’ve met people and started (hopefully long and fruitful) friendships from connections that happened via Twitter. Ideas have been pondered and projects have been planned via Twitter. And I’ve also learnt a fair share about the industry from those who happen to know quite a bit more than me… via Twitter.
It surprises me that so many startups and investors seem regularly intent on working on the other side of the social network – concentrating on more personal, private connections. They can be enjoyable and charming to use, but they lack that crazy, open potential and excitement. For example, I love Path, but it’ll never be a life changer for me, nothing of such a personal nature ever will be. Nonetheless, it knows what it is as a product, and I’ve got plenty of respect for that.
Unlike Facebook, who lost their way badly. For a full summary on my thoughts on them, I essentially totally agree with this cracking article by Daniel Gray – Facebook and the lost art of conversation.
If you stop and consider the current status of various industries and areas of day to day life – news, media, social connections, campaigning, and communities (to name but a few) – it’s mind boggling to think how much impact Twitter has had on them all.
We’re seeing the ‘true’ live reporting niche blow up, the most famous of which would be that raid to capture Bin Laden.
Political figures, celebrities, athletes, industry leaders – they now all have the simplest of tools with which they can directly share their thoughts with the rest of the world. Overly opinionated and biased reporting isn’t something we need to rely on so much anymore.
Issues or questions that you may want to raise with your local community can now spread and be shared with the people that matter within a matter of hours. Seeing community protests gain traction via Twitter is now almost a daily occurrence.
Some of the particularly wonderful success stories from connections or tweets on Twitter are being compiled over at “Stories”. Check them out if you haven’t already.
Finally, to complete my declaration of unrequited love… I’m a believer that the design team at Twitter are currently producing some of the best product/UI design in the industry. They’re certainly leading all the other social networks on the design front. I guess it helps that the overall product concept has ultimately stayed fairly refined, and true to its roots.
Hell, even their Bootstrap rules.
So, a slightly belated happy 6th birthday to Twitter. Onwards!