Last year the tech world decided that Facebook was all that, and Mark Zuckerberg was the new Bill Gates. This year, everyone’s atwitter about Twitter. (Which I guess means that Twitter founders Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone and Evan Williams are the new Manny, Moe, and Jack of micro-blogs.)
Two examples this week show how far Twitter has embedded itself into the geekgeist.
Case No. 1: Anyone who watched President Obama’s address to Congress on Tuesday saw TV coverage of various Congressfolk twiddling with their BlackBerrys during the speech — that is, when they weren’t jumping to their feet on cue, as if doing politic-aerobics. Even Joe Biden of the Scary Teeth seemed to be playing with something underneath his desk (let’s hope it was a BlackBerry).
What were they all doing? Twittering. The Republicans, by and large, were bemoaning the cost of all those programs Obama was outlining. (It seems after eight years of slumber the GOPers have woken up like Rip Van Winkle and discovered they are fiscal conservatives after all. But that’s a story for another blog.)
Except for Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex), who was more interested in the Texas A&M Aggies game than the speech. He tweeted:
Aggie basketball game is about to start on espn2 for those of you that aren’t going to bother watching pelosi smirk for the next hour.
Barton later claimed an aide had posted that tweet, which magically disappeared from his Twitter profile shortly thereafter. But I gotta say I’m right there with him about Pelosi. She makes Cruella De Ville look like Paris Hilton.
When the Beltway Bandits adopt a technology, you know it’s gone mainstream. Most of them are still trying to get their VCRs to stop flashing “12:00” over and over and over.
Case No. 2: Google finally activated its Twitter account, greeting the world with this cybertronic tweet:
I’m 01100110 01100101 01100101 01101100 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01101100 01110101 01100011 01101011 01111001 00001010.
Apparently that means “I’m feeling lucky” in binary speak. But some folks translated that into “Google is buying Twitter.” Why the search giant would need Twitter is beyond me, though the Merc’s Chris O’Brien sees it as a direct competitor to Google.
One thing is clear: Twitter is the new ingenue of Web 2.0. Everyone is suddenly infatuated with her. Whether that crush will last the year — or disappear into the ether as quickly as a 140-character status update — remains to be seen.
Do you use Twitter, and if not, are you missing the boat? Post your thoughts below or e-mail me: dan (at) dantynan (dot) com.
This post originally appeared on Infoworld’s Notes From the Field blog.