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THE WEB, ETC.; WEB SCOUT; It's real time at the same time
Los Angeles Times - Los Angeles, Calif.
Subjects: Web sites; Social life & customs; Interactive media
Author: Rushfield, Richard
Date: Dec 10, 2006
Start Page: E.20
Section: Sunday Calendar; Part E; Calendar Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

Twitter works by hypercharging social networks such as those on MySpace or Friendster. A new Twitter user creates a very basic profile and then creates a mini-network by linking to his or her friends, family, acquaintances and pretty faces found through browsing the site. Then, whenever the mood strikes, the user logs in to (or sends it a note via text or instant messenger), answering the "What're you doing" question in 150 characters or fewer. Once you chime in with your latest activity or pondering, your message is then radiated out to all the members of your circle, who can check in at their webpage to see what their friends are up to, or better still, receive flashing updates on their cellphones or instant messengers whenever a friend checks in.

[Jack Dorsey]'s Twitter colleague, Biz Stone, also on the phone, remembered that Dorsey was "haunted" by the concept that you could break through the stuffiness of blogs and create a more direct community. He said, "People say blogging seems self-important -- you've gotta write a page. It seems like an assignment. With Twitter, the limits are down for all the people who wouldn't normally blog, the barrier is much lower."

[Tony Stubbleline] also points out an interesting facet to this stage of hyper-connectedness; a distinct advantage he sees to Twitter is rather than creating a constant conversation with all of your friends, Twitter is creating a hub of simultaneous monologues. Of the price of e-mail contact he says: "There's the overhead of you expect a reply. When you're on the phone, you have to say hello. Even in casual text messaging there is an expectation of a reply." In Twitter, you can simply speak, no response warranted and no need to respond to what your friends are saying.

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