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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.
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