Call us contrarian when it comes to over-hyped new tools, but in our experience, early adopters end up with a lot of useless old tech piled in the back of their cupboards (Newton MessagePad? Check. First generation Nokia WAP phone? One of those as well. Sigh). We’ve pissed away enough money on not-quite-fit-for-purpose ‘innovations’ that we even waited until O2 dropped the price a hundred quid before buying the obviously-bloody-brilliant-from-day-one iPhone.
So pardon the lack of excitement we’ve shown thus far for microblogging poster-child Twitter. We’ve never been much interested in the textual ramblings of ad execs and VCs, or the geeky late night geekings of geeks. But Twitter seems to have transcended the demographics of its early adopters, and is now not just mainstreaming, but actually helping people. Data point — evidently Twitter users in China alerted the world to the recent earthquake even before the US Geological Survey picked up on it (and that’s their job!). While closer to home, we’re finding that microblogging Twitter-stylee actually fits nicely into our post-FaceBook networked world of intimate strangers (and intimate strangeness!). All part of the ongoing Great Adjustment of social meaning. Go on. You know you want to.