Tuesday, July 1, 2008

When the Whale Fails Will Plurk Prevail?

A few months ago I didn't know what Twitter was; or, more specifically, I knew what it was but couldn't imagine what purpose it could possibly serve. Now some months and who knows how many posts later I--and the rest of the world it seems--am hooked.

First there were a trickle of blog posts about Twitter--a few Tweets, if you will. Then there were more. Then more, until now it seems like every day, all day someone is blogging about Twitter. Journalists, media outlets and PR folks have taken to it like, well, whales to water.

Being an "early adopter" (code for computer-addicted hyper-focuser), I've spent the past month trying to convince my company that we should be using Twitter as part of our PR/media relations efforts. Yesterday they finally caved in the face of my incessant nagging and the powers that be gave me the go ahead to set up shop on Twitter.

Realizing that not everyone even knows what Twitter is, I asked to take the reins at the computer to give everyone the 5 cent tour of the killer app I'd spent so much time hawking. Instead of the exciting stream of important business-related tweets I hoped to dazzle them with, what do you think they got an eye-full of?

The all-too-familiar "Twitter is Over Capacity" screen--e.g. the Fail Whale. Unfazed, I went on to tell them that this happens "sometimes" but Twitter is working on it and it will soon be resolved.

In truth, it's of course happening more and more frequently and I personally am about ready to bail. If there's one thing I hate in life it's things that don't work properly--especially things that are supposed to be fast and seamless and essential to daily life. Ok, so maybe "essential" is too strong a term to use when talking about Twitter, but if you think about it, maybe not.

As more and more companies and media outlets are now turning in droves to Twitter to pitch and receive pitches, it's gaining more acceptance and, for at least some people, starting to replace email, IM and texting--even webinars! So what happens if more and more people get on the bandwagon and start using it in their personal and professional lives and one day it reaches a breaking point and just crashes?

Enter Plurk....which is another post for another time...I will leave with this one parting post, though--a good, informative comparison of Twitter and Plurk. Plurk seems like a good concept--hell, anything that can offer the functionality of the now-addictive Twitter with even close to regularity qualifies as a good concept to me these days. However, after checking it out a few times I'm still stumped.

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