In Praise of Twitter

Labour Party

Yesterday I watched the BBC London TV news piece on Twitter. It wasn’t perhaps the most incisive commentary and was definitely pitched at the lowest common denominator.

Having thought about a short, sharp response in 140 characters, I decided a blog post would give more room for manoeuvre. Twitter’s most obvious limitation is its length and I decided on a bit more for this.

Apparently London is the Twitter capital of the world.  We are time poor, nowhere more so than central London is where most of the action is.

As a fairly regular tweeter and a central London resident I am all for this. Twitter concentrates the mind and is instantly accessible from a number of mobile devices. It can, indeed, be life saving as demonstrated in the recent earthquake in Haiti.  BBC London made the point that the alert for the runaway train on the London Underground a few days ago was made via Twitter.  

Twitter’s appeal is its immediacy, the instant ability to tell someone what you are doing, to convey simple news or to advertise something.  I’m all for it.

So it would appear is everyone else.  It took 38 years for radio to reach 50 million people, 13 years for television to get to the same number and four years before the internet had 50 million users.  Twitter get to 50 million in just 12 months.

I’d like it if more of you would follow me on Twitter.  I’m happy to follow you as well.