Twitter is a fascinating product. If you haven't heard of it (really?), it allows people to post short micro-blogs from a cellphone, blackberry, the Web, etc. The classic "Twitter is so useful story" is the guy who posts "I'm in INSERT CITY, where can I find some good sushi?" and they got 10 thoughtful responses/suggestions..... I think of it as sort of a group IM.
It is growing at a crazy pace, all the cool kids on the Internet claim to be addicts and it has the kind of media buzz/attention that the rest of us dream of.
I have tried Twitter, but to be honest, when it works for me (which is less than you would think, given its popularity), the experience is not that great.
I Twitter poorly. I got no game.
I'm sometimes funny, I am an OK writer, but I have no, um, zip on Twitter. No gift for Twitter gab. A little dry. Nothing going on. Ugh. Also, most of my real-world friends either don't use it or do use it even more sporadically than I do. I can see that if you are young and in San Francisco that Twitter would be tons of fun ("big party at Zeke's"), unfortunately (or fortunately) I am neither.
On Twitter you can follow the posts (tweets) of other Twitter users. I follow an odd mix of people - tech bloggers, VCs, friends from previous jobs, crazies, people that follow me. My favorite person that I follow is the Zappos CEO, Tony. He keeps this semi-insane schedule that makes me feel better about my own. He's funny, he has an interesting life, he is the CEO of a cool company that I actually use, he lives in Vegas, a town I know semi-well, he posts about the right amount (enough-to-keep-you-interested-but-not-so-much-you-get-burned-out). But I don't know him, so I'm not sure even he can keep my interest forever.
It does feel occasionally creepy to know someone's sked when you don't know them - I know that Tony, the Zappos guy had a big party over the 4th, that he was in NYC for a day a few weeks ago, etc. I don't post my own schedule online as I think that it feels like advertising you are out of town, sort of "hey - go steal my stuff!" but I'm clearly in the minority (see here, here). This is something reporters, athletes, sportscasters and TV anchors have had to deal with for years (all of whom have way more stuff to steal than me), so I suspect I'm just being silly/paranoid.
I think "courtesy" could kill twitter. (if their IT doesn't first - when you have a Facebook group dedicated to your downtime, when super-influential tech bloggers like Michael Arrington tweet "jesus twitter sucks" it seems safe to say it isn't going well technology-wise). Courtesy dictates that in general, you should follow people that follow you - yet I get probably 2-5 follows a day (I suspect the top twitter'ers get 100s/day or 1,000s) from people that are using the time-tested method of following everyone they possibly can, in the hopes that a small percentage will follow them - and an even smaller percentage will go to their site, buy their product, whatever.
full disclosure - we do this a bit. We have been testing a twitterfeed of our site articles at twitter.com/d360. It is working ok, but not driving much traffic, so I'm not yet convinced it is worth the effort (granted, the effort is minimal)....