In a continuation of my series Uncommon Uses (previously Podcasts, wikis and SMS text interfaces) I thought I’d look at Twitter, for such a new simple tool I’m thinking most of the uses are Uncommon Uses. One of the things that made Twitter take off was it’s simplicity and with that simplicity comes the ability for it’s users to mold it into what they want.
- Chat – Probably falls under extremely common use, but I had no idea how many people were using it just for chat, even though it acts as a micro blog adding @username at the beginning of your tweet makes sure your comment is directed at an individual. Many people even have targeted tweets sent to their cell phones so it’s actually an incredibly timely chat client. Probably blows away the IM clients that comes on most phones.
- Blogging in Africa – soyapi gives the example of Malawi, where there are about 50,000 Internet users against about 700,000 mobile phone users out of a population of about 12 million. Twitter makes an ideal blogging platform
- Automated Weather Report – Liminal Existance have whipped up a weather bot that will msg you, just add the bot as a friend for the city your interested in: Boston, Brighton, Chicago, Helsinki, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Singapore, and Vancouver.
- Social Music/Audio – TwiTunes Itunes plugin and automatically tweet the podcasts your listening to via Pluggd
- Social Shopping – Dealtagger lets you tweet the things your shopping for
- Home Automation – Replace your doorbell using twitter via O’Reilly
I think Twitter has some incredibly useful applications which we haven’t even scratched the surface of yet. Rather like blogging was initially used for online diaries, twitter is being used in a rather similar way, hence the leap to call it a useless fad. I think we have yet to discover it’s deeper more valuable use, right now we’re just playing.