Earlier that day, div_conspiracy
tweeted something related to Posterous and it appeared on my tweetdeck
: "tumblr or posterous? I don't have room for both. I see that tumblr just rev'd today." Moments later, I fired a quip back, "posterous.com revs every day." He then tweeted offhandedly about rice cookers, and Eugene suddenly got added by a twitter ricecooker. All within the span of a few minutes. People are definitely listening.
I wonder if people will tweet less often if they know people are watching. Perhaps some will. But I doubt it. At the risk of pontificating about twitter vs facebook (that most egregious and trite of Web 2.0 blog offenses), I'd say that's the what makes twitter significant. Facebook is all about communicating with your friends and people I already know, but Twitter lets you talk about anything publicly. And that's the point.
Someone told me once that online action is all about appealing to baser instincts -- greed, lust, thirst for fame, and the like. That's where Twitter fits in. Every time you tweet, you have a chance to expand your circle of influence. It's compelling because it is public. Psychologically, this results in a hedonic ramp of wanting to get more followers. People won't admit it, but subconsciously people want to become Internet famo (aka Web 2.0 famous, or almost not really famous). Hell, there's even a class at Parsons New School for Design called Internet Famous
, on how to spread your work to the widest possible audience online through the 'online attention economy' of blogs, social media, etc.
The same famo principle is at work with MySpace as well. Much has been made of the socioeconomic class divisions
of social networks. But maybe those poor huddled masses of MySpace users are more likely to admit they want to be famous. Heck, it worked for Tila Tequila
. How many services out there have made people famo? Twitter and MySpace. Others? To paraphrase the Hacker Manifesto
: I am a twit, enter my world. The world of the electron and the tweet, the beauty of the blog.