If you read any coverage of South by Southwest last month, you've probably heard of Twitter. The social networking service was, by all accounts, omnipresent at the Austin, Texas, culture festival, where it won an award for best blog of the year. The thing is, Twitter isn't exactly a blog - and it's both more and less than a Web site like MySpace. The service integrates Web, SMS and instant messaging technologies to create a community of people devoted to answering a simple question - What are you doing? - in 140 characters or fewer.
Actually that's not a bad summary. But here's my favorite quote, from Twitter creator Jack Dorsey:
"It's just the most mundane updates from him [Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards, who helped stoke the Twitter buzz by taking up the habit] that are really cool, like 'Eating breakfast' or 'Just landed in Topeka.' People don't say that a lot, because it just seems trivial, like small talk. But with Twitter, we've really lowered the expectation of what is and is not a good post."
So there it is: if the Metro's heard of it, you know Twitter has come into its own. Then again, this is the same newspaper that devoted an article last week to swingers, so maybe this isn't exactly the cultural radar we want to be on...
(Or is it?)