Alright, GQ (Geekiness Quotient) Test!  What was the first thing to come into your head when you read the post title?

(a) A chirpy sound - 0 points
(b) Sylvester and Tweety - 10 points.
(c) A social networking-cum-microblogging service - 100 points.
(d) A slashdot troll - 1000 points.

If you answered (a) or (b), you need to spend more time on the interwebs.   (However, if you answered (d), you probably need to go outside more.)

Anyway, this post is about twitter, option (c).  

Twitter is a "microblogging" service -- blogging for the new ADHD-generation.  Every post (or 'tweet') is limited to 140 characters.  You're supposed to tell the world "what you're doing right now" in 140 characters or less (including punctuation), and the world is supposed to care. 

I was initially quite skeptical about twitter (... as an aside, ok, I admit... so was I about blogging too) but twitter's been in the news a lot recently and that convinced me to take a second glance.

Here are some famous use(r)s of twitter:
The Mars Phoenix Lander(!?): http://twitter.com/marsphoenix
The Los Angeles Fire Department: http://twitter.com/LAFD

Twitter was also in the news for being quicker than the traditional media in breaking news on the China earthquake, and for helping get a UC-Berkeley student out of an Egyptian jail. ([citation needed]?  GoogleSearch it yourselves.)

That being said, twitter has about 2.2 million users (and growing), and the signal-to-noise ratio on twitter (like everything on the internet, I guess) is not very high.  Penny Arcade captures the average twitter user nicely in this comic -- http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2008/4/23/.

P.S: If you still think 140 characters is too constricting, wait till you check out something like Adocu.com. It calls itself a 'nano-blogging' site, where each 'post' has to be just (and exactly) one word long. Howisthatforconstricting?

P.P.S: Um, er, well... I got me a twitter too