Honestly, I’m failing to see the usefulness of this thing called Twitter. Yet, the world seems all abuzz about it in a fashion I can only explain with, “OMG!”

First off, I’m not sure how “Twitterpated” hasn’t been used by someone tying into the Twitter API already. Or maybe I’m the only fool on Earth that once watched Bambi. Either way, to me, that suggests immediate FAIL on pretty much everyone.

The plus I’ll give it? I love microblogging. It’s more telling, more intimate, more personal, and a bit more fun than one can get out of these full blog posts or these LiveBook or MyFace or SpaceJournal pages. It’s someone at their one-lined best. Or worst. And way easier than creating a complete blog post.

But seriously, what can we really do with it? Businesses are clamoring to get people to watch their Twitter conversations. I’ve heard claims that it revolutionizes human communication, which means spam can’t be far behind. Will we call unwanted Twitter messages, “twits”?

Actually, I think I’ll trademark that right now.

But, for the life of me, I can’t find anything about it that’s actually, really useful, or more entertaining than an instant messenger window.

So, I’ll say it: Twitter is a fad.

What really interests me more about the whole thing is not so much that it masquerades as social networking and high-tech jackassery. Rather, compared to everything else that has become popular on the internets, Twitter is stunningly simple.

It’s an ink pen and a Moleskine.

A pencil and a sheet of lined notebook paper.

A Sharpie and a Post-it.

A box to type in, and a “post” button.

I mentioned earlier how microblogging works for me. Technically, microblogging can be done on any platform. Any blog service can easily be a microblog, simply by writing smaller posts.

But why drag out your grandfather’s typewriter, carbon ribbon, set the margins, type till the bell goes off, and then finally push carriage return lever in, and all the way back to the left, just to tack a note on the fridge that you’re low on soy milk?

The process to actually write a post is nothing short of a daunting task. Wading through all the extra bells, whistles, monkeys made of soot, and wardrobes filled with Triscuits that are put into blogging software can be so overwhelming for a menial task, that you’d rather have a project to justify firing it up.

Let’s extend. How about all software?

How often does one actually use video integration in their spreadsheets? Or mail merging their address book to send out thank you cards to everyone they have ever emailed?

Much of software has gone to Mordor; one application to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them. In our developer, designer and corporate zeal to create the next “killer app”, we keep trying to build in every damn little thing, inevitably achieving the same result: an application that does everything, poorly.

It’s a good thing software companies don’t often have to find the Holy Grail.

Maybe it’s time to return to our UNIX roots: many small applications that can be used in tandem to achieve great results.

After all, a van can’t work without it’s engine. Nor it’s wheels. Nor it’s flip-down rear-seat DVD player. Nor the shag carpeting.

Ok, maybe not the DVD player isn’t necessary. But the shag is. ‘Cause just like Mama, when the driver ain’t happy, you ain’t makin’ good software.

  • For those of you who don’t read Japanese, the title reads, “Not Twitterpated.”