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The secret ingredient in most of these Web 2.0 social applications is Ego

By Andrew Pollack on 05/14/2008 at 09:23 AM EDT

Where is the real force that pushes people to Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, and other such things? The answer, I think, is made clear in examining how Twitter finds a niche between IRC (Group Chat Rooms), Mailing Lists, RSS Blog feeds, and Instant Messaging. Surely RSS is capable of doing what Twitter does without the need for expensive infrastructure if keeping track of your friends is all you're after.

So, what does Twitter add to the mix? Twitter offers the competitive ego a platform that COUNTS how many people follow you and even lets you know who they are. If not for that, RSS and IM are far more efficient ways to do the same things.

I'm not saying this makes Twitter useless. I bring this up because its critical to understand why something like it can generate so much buzz so quickly. Don't think so? Listen to a TWIT (This Week In Tech) podcast and see if in the first few minutes they're not talking about how many followers each has on this or that technology.

To me, Twitter is like RSS only faster -- though I'm sure if I lived in the sillycon valley and was part of that rapidly changing tech soup it may have more concrete usefulness.


There are  - loading -  comments....

re: The secret ingredient in most of these Web 2.0 social applications is EgoBy Duffbert on 05/14/2008 at 10:02 AM EDT
Your post makes sense if you're in the "all bloggers are ASWs" camp. I'm not,
so I don't see Twitter as an ego contest.

I see it as the "chatter" I'd hear in a busy office if I were working with 100
people who I hand-picked...
re: The secret ingredient in most of these Web 2.0 social applications is EgoBy Craig Wiseman on 05/14/2008 at 10:04 PM EDT
Hmmm. I'm trying to understand how one could blog and not be a (at least
partial) ASW.


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