I hate to admit it, but, way behind the curve as usual, I have started to view Twitter as an important part of my life, rather than a pointless irritant. When I set up our feed I was intending just to use it for publicising blog posts, but then I started following a couple of people (you know, just for kicks), then a couple more (though I could have given up any time I wanted, I just didn’t want to, right?), and before I knew it I was getting mildly agitated if I couldn’t get my tweet fix several times a day.

The tipping point came when I started following Mal Burns, who is a one-man SL newsfeed, cranking out dozens of tweets a day linking to all sorts of interesting metaverse stories. He seems to have quite a big audience, judging by the surge of traffic we have had on the couple of occasions he has featured one of our posts.

Our feed is somewhat less influential, though we do have a few followers, including one celebrity, Noreena Hertz, the vaguely left-wing economist, though I expect that by the time you read this she will have ditched us – she’s done the follow/unfollow thing on us a few times before, so I suspect that she has some sort of system that automatically follows anyone tweeting with the #economics tag, and then one of her assistants kicks us off a couple of days later when they actually read the rubbish we have written. Interestingly, our old SLS account has roughly ten times as many followers as our active feed, despite not being updated for nearly a year.

My addiction has been facilitated by my acquisition of the TweetDeck app for my iPhone, which makes it much easier to post updates and follow the general chatter. TweetDeck is part of the huge ecosystem that has grown up around Twitter, with literally hundreds of startups vying for a slice of the revenue pie, which, last time I looked, amounted to exactly US$0. Twitter head honcho Biz Stone has reportedly targeted 2010 as “the revenue year”, but even he isn’t willing to predict that the company will be profitable any time soon, so I can’t see how all the hangers-on are hoping to make any money.

I have a horrible feeling that the whole set-up is some kind of plot to get us all hooked on free produce, before they crank up the price and force us to pay big bucks to feed our habits. That wouldn’t be entirely bad news for me though, since I am qualified in the treatment of cyberaddiction, and the tweet-detox market might be worth quite a bit.

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