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Twitter: A Series of Tubes

twitterAs poor Senator Ted Stevens once told us, “the Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It’s not a big truck. It’s a series of tubes.” And then the laughter started.
I’m going to defend the Senator’s metaphor: The Internet is developing an underlying infrastructure (plumbing) that will support an impressive sprawl of new information communities. Chief among these is Twitter. Upon launch, Twitter in and of itself was easy to understand and caught on quickly but quickly earned the disdain of all of my busy colleagues, who saw it only as another place to try and avoid Kutcheresque gossipolemic. But with its open structure and immediacy, Twitter is emerging as an important piece of plumbing for enterprise messaging. I’ve seen more and more Tweetup references in conference coverage recently, and last month saw the first instance of an event trying to ban a tweetup taking place in conjunction with their event. I won’t mention the event, but you can search it out on Twitter.
I was also pleased to the closer integration of LinkedIn and Twitter. LinkedIn doesn’t get enough popular attention, which is fine with me. I’m hoping to be able to use LinkedIn for free forever. At some point, I know they’re going to reach into my pocket.
I’ve also seen a greater awareness of TweetDeck, and recently learned that TweetDeck is linking to LinkedIn. This will make my life a lot easier. TweetDeck allows you to manage your messaging across multiple platforms. Anyone who’s ever had to copy and paste a 140-character message 30 times before going home at night will love TweetDeck.
Twitter is tubes: Someday in the future, you’ll be messaging effectively, without ever thinking about Twitter–just like you flush the toilet without thinking about the massive infrastructure that makes that simple act possible.
At some point, I’ll post the Top 10 Networking Trends for Events in 2009.

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