Shameless Plugs

Friday, March 21st, 2008

I’ve found that I’ve been using two web services to post content more and more these days: Twitter and tumblr. If you’re familiar with either, you can find me as cbarrett on both twitter and tumblr.

Tumblr is a blogging service. What makes it unique at all is just how easy it is to post content. It come with a pretty click bookmarklet that automatically can post Youtube videos, images, quotes from text you select on the page, etc.

Twitter is technically a microblogging service — you’re limited to 140 character messages (because all interaction can take place via SMSes on your phone). Originally designed to let people give real time status updates (“Eating pizza,” “Watering my plants”) and annoy their friends, it’s morphed into a really compelling platform — an asynchronous, slow, many-to-many messaging platform. It’s a slower, decentralized IRC-like experience. The work flow is thus: you mark people you want to get updates from (in Twitter terminology you’re following them), and their “tweets” flow by River-of-News-style.

What makes it compelling is that there is a syntax for replying to one of those messages: @username. i.e. “@danielpunkass A good idea in principle, but you still suck for voting for Nader. ;)” What’s more, Twitter automatically filters messages so you don’t see @replies to people you aren’t following. And additionally, you can still see @replies from people who you aren’t following if they send an @reply your way.

What you end up getting is a really new, powerful way to communicate. If you haven’t signed up I’d recommend it. It’s totally sweet.