Chris Webb writes that he thinks Twitter is going to earn a place as a universal content delivery system. My thoughts on this are a little different. Reading his post it seems like he thinks it may become the default info aggregator for a bunch of folks. It may in fact do that, but I think the more interesting thing is that it can be a unified point for individuals to generate and publish info. Now I haven’t played with Twitter yet, but from what I’ve read, I could see it evolving into a mechanism for people to put as much of their lives online as possible. The text-twittering that seems to be the bulk of the traffic now is really only for hard-core communicators who’s thumbs are glued to their BlackBerry or Smartphone (If you’re at your computer, what are you going to Twitter, “I’m sitting at my computer twittering”?)
Anyways, with the API, I could see lots of interesting things happening. Verizon could offer to automatically twitter my location from the aGPS on my phone (hopefully with a convenient on/off feature). I could have Flickr auto-twitter my photos. After Microsoft hashes out their Tellme acquisition they could offer to autotwitter from a microphone (or my phone again) so that my voice comes through as text (and audio?).
Now this is an emergent area, and what it grows into is going to be very uncertain and organic for many years. I’m hoping that some competing services pop up, and I’m also hoping that they choose to interoperate with Twitter. All us old guys who remember the Mosaic browser (or gopher clients!) thought email was “the” new way to communicate. IM was next, and I think Blogs and social networking sites like MySpace are just a pitstop on the way to whatever it is Twitter is going to grow into. Like email though, their success is going to hinge on playing nice with others.