Have you been seduced by the Twitter trend? I haven’t in first or second life, although I have signed up for the service and used a couple times. Even if you have been bitten, er Twitten, I’m not sure how the above pictured mashup Twittervision 3D is all that useful. Sure, it looks neat for a little bit and is a cool demo, but what’s the point of this beyond eye candy? I get that we can see where this person just posted on Twitter on a spinning globe in the world but is that the only point? Not trying to bash it, I’m asking a serious question: what am I missing here?
For readers who don’t know what Twitter is and does, it’s a service which allows you to post short text messages (140 characters or less) via a wide variety of methods: text messaging from your cell phone, the web interface, in your Firefox browser search bar and yes, even in the virtual world of Second Life with tools like Ordinal Malaprop’s Twitterbox tool.
The draw of Twitter and competitors like Jaiku is that you can form groups and share IM-style conversations among each other. 57 Miles from Metaversed has a Twitter Group in world. Personally, I prefer IRC which has been around for ages for group discussions and conversations. I wonder why we don’t see more SL to IRC mashups. Maybe that’s a field of opportunity. I understand that IRC isn’t as sexy and new as this Twitter text messaging stuff, but it’s been around awhile and works good.
Wouldn’t IRC in Second Life be better?
One of the current complaints about Twitter seems to be the centralized server setup, scaling and load-related problems.
IRC gets around this by allowing anybody to setup their own IRC server. I’ve mentioned to the other VTOR authors how I wish Second Life had used IRC for the in world chat instead of a proprietary system. If we could bring our own IRC channel inside SL then we’d remove yet another centralized world problem.