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The Origin of Twitter

Autor: Langloo
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Being a computer geek is one thing a lot of us pride ourselves in—shall we pat ourselves on the back for how much we know about the World Wide Web as we roll along in our skills (or lack thereof), as some of us do? There is an assumption that everyone has heard of Twitter.com, right? If you haven’t, it seems that your brain has either gone AWOL, or your PC is frozen, or has been disconnected for the last five years. Shudder! Even people from the North and South Poles, and I don't mean the big jolly red pants dude or polar bears either, but real people who work there and live in houses and rental buildings have heard of Twitter.com. “Sheesh, no Alice, not everyone there lives in igloos either.” It compares to other sites such as Facebook or Foursquare in some ways—you can always know where your friends are immediately, and with Twitter.com you can access them easily, too.

Let’s analyze why this site can be such a benefit to us today, shall we? Like Chip and Dale used to say “Let's shall!” Have you ever wondered or even cared how Twitter.com got its start? Because inquiring minds want to know, let us examine this with the expertise of Sherlock Holmes going solo. How did they pick such a dorky name? Do you have a clue what the dictionary defines a twitter as? No, it's not a female twit, (a British term for silly goose or sod), nor is it a tweeter even though you leave tweets or messages, but in good English grammar twitter means “to speak in a fast, rapid, and tremulous manner”, or “to utter a light chirping”, or “make tremulous sounds.” Now it becomes obvious why so many think Twitter.com is for the “birds” really—not the nubile, young British lasses either.

So, it started out in 2006 when some guys and gals got together to figure out what to do with their boring everyday lives - no doubt, right? Nope, wrong as rain. These guys and gals were in the PC business even then, coding and decoding at Odeo Inc., but decided because of stiff competition from Apple Co. to get into a brainstorming session to re-invent them. Not just fix the existing problems, but invent a whole new wheel instead. The CEO Jack Dorsey knew of a SMS (Short Message Service) group that sent out messages to tell their close friends exactly what they were doing. He proposed at the same session it was time for major change and brazenly flipped out this new idea at his fellow workers. Actually, read the rest for the real history!

After digging up a lot of information, the actual beginnings came about a little differently, but first let’s deal with the name. You got to hear this - originally Twitter.com was to be called t-w-t-t-r, stolen from the idea that Yahoo! employs with Flickr, their photo album group. Uh-oh, what, no vowels? You got to be kidding me! Was this somebody's kid randomly playing on their parents' computer to find this gem? It sounds like something a five-year-old might type. But, lo and behold, they were saved when some bright mind came up with the word twitter instead.

Okay, back to the real beginning—the new idea Jack had was to let everyone know in his SMS where he was. He'd leave a message and they would see it for themselves. The project started off in-house, first using T9 text input (probably in case it bombed) but then gained popularity. Then Dorsey's idea via Friendstalker went public, starting with the words “I'm at a club it's a happening.” Sounds like a peeping tom idea to me. Deciding on the name Twitter, off they went. Voila, a world-changing service was now a reality even though the first users paid dearly to use it. But the idea caught fire and now we’re waiting with baited breath to see when the Dorsey’s Twitter.com movie is going to get made. They did it for Facebook, didn't they?

So now this new idea started to steamroll, as they used Facebook and other social networking sites to get the word out there. Did you think they were just going to let the cell phone companies overcharge their clients mercilessly? Nope, not on your life! Dorsey and his gang (sounds like a 50's band) broke away from Odeo completely and launched Twitter.com.

This baker's dozen of brave souls were managing to do what no other network has been able to do or replicate. Just like on the PC where you can communicate with someone in Antarctica (or anywhere else in the world, for that matter), you can now tweet or text a person anywhere just as easily if they have cell phone service.

Today almost everybody that's a somebody (or thinks they are) tweets—people like NFL stars, Ocho Chinko and Brent Favre (look at the mess that tweeting got them into), to Hollywood stars like cougar Demi Moore's guy, Ashton Kutcher (first boaster of 1,000,000 tweets ever.) The infamous telemarketers, advertisers, heck, even televangelists use this service. Seriously, you’re not even considered to be hip if you’re not using Twitter.com. But for some of us, we’ve got a ways to go—especially for those who don’t have cell phones, yet!
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