Is Twitter the new Google?

Well, of course that title is slightly misleading. (Come on, what did you expect?) However, it’s not just there to draw a few more eyeballs. Let me explain what I mean.

Google is everywhere. But not just in a general, universal “oh my god they’re everywhere” sense, but more concretely: I work with Google all day, every day. The first few browser tabs I open in the morning are from Google (mail, docs, cal, feeds and, oh, right: search). I manage my calendar through Google and have it sync with my Blackberry. Most of the docs I work on with others live in Google Docs. What I’m trying to say is: I rely on Google much more than I probably should, and I’m not the only one. But at this point I have to say, for a freelancer like me Google provides the best solutions.

Enter Twitter: While it’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Twitter, I’ve always seen it as some kind of add-on service, something that’s nice to have and a little addictive, but not really necessary. But just today, I wrote three blog posts in which I pointed to Twitter, that dealt with some aspects of Twitter, and I tried to get in touch with a few folks through Twitter – unsuccessfully. Twitter has been really shaky all day. I’m increasingly relying on a shaky service. No good, is it?

Still: I don’t believe Michael Arrington is right when he says folks just move from Twitter to Friendfeed. Friendfeed is great, but Twitter has survived other great competitors like Pownce. Twitter is just so simple and fun that people (including myself) stay there despite the competitors’ better feature sets and reliability. Also, Twitter are working on improving their service, their blog is full of new hires.

And so I’m going to stay there as well. But I guess I’ll have to come up with a plan B so I’m not stranded if something really bad happens to Twitter. Like more users, or a major event that folks like to twitter about.


Hmm, a micro-blogging plan B? What about

Sure, it’s not as cute as the Fail Whale, but with freely licensed code, developers are bound to take it up and play. It’s been about three days since’s public release, and there’s already been quite a few good twitter-esque tweaks, including the addition of the all-important “replies” tab.