Twitter: Community trumps computers

I just wrote a piece on Twitter, its maddening crashes and the excitement of investors, including Jeff Bezos, to pour money into it. I guess they figure that with enough money, any company can build reliable infrastructure. But precious few can ignite a new form of communication. So once they fix Twitter’s machinery, as investor Bijan Sabet told me, you have “a new global communication utility system” (which sounds extremely powerful, though I have no idea what it means).

Why don’t more people bail from Twitter? First, they’ve built up large and small armies of followers. Those have value. And they like to keep up with the people they follow. Equally important, I’d say. For most people, Twitter isn’t crucial or especially time sensitive. And it’s got back up. Yesterday, while doing the story, I asked people on Twitter what I should write about. Then, wouldn’t you know it, the “replies” feature was down. So I couldn’t see their responses—until I went to the Summize search engine and looked for @stevebaker. There they all were. (And apologies to all of you: I answered very few of the questions in what turned out to be a plain vanilla story).

Heading to Nantucket today for a long weekend with friends of a college friend. I won’t have my laptop but, radio waves permitting, will be sending the occasional tweet from the moors.