Been there, done that, got the t shirt. As you can see.
I was 'poked' (at least I think that's the correct term) recently by a friend who wanted me to join Facebook so that he could show me his - as it were. I have never been overly tempted by this particular social networking tool (I did join Bebo, in an attempt to be able to find the legendary Daddy Dick, but without success, and have never done anything with my account there. Honest) mostly because everyone else seems to be doing it. I had a vague idea that - like MySpace - it was owned by some mutli-national conglomerate, but have since checked and found out that Microsoft only own 1.6% of the company (bought for an eye-watering $246 million!) so, er, that's all right then. I also know that once I started, I wouldn't be able to stop. And I have enough on my virtual plates as it is - keeping them spinning is enough of a challenge for this particular end of the pier show.
I am, of course, contemplating the idea, but am concerned that some of my other virtual loves will inevitably suffer as a result. I had planned to extol the virtues of one of these - Twitter - in this post, till I received an email from the saintly Biz Stone informing me that Twitter will no longer be serving SMS delivery of direct messages outside the US, Canada and India. There is - as ever - some laughable indignation amongst the Twitterers, who are all fuming that the free service they have been enjoying for so long is going to be withdrawn. I agree with them only insofar as Twitter released the information on the same day that they took the service away. A bit of notice would have been nice, guys. Though I am admittedly a little peeved at losing it, I would definitely draw the line at a 'tweet strike day' as some (mostly Aussies) are planning for August 18th.
If we are to believe the oh-so-sweet Mr Stone, there is a cost of $1000 per user per year for operating the SMS service. Apparently, 2.2 million accounts are registered with them at the moment, and although the vast majority of these must be in the US, Canada and India, it's still likely to be no small beer.
The question for me is: where is Twitter going? I do feel that this move is the first step towards monetising the venture, and I will be interested to see what the next will be. There seems to be a stubborn silence from Twitter HQ to questions of subscription or premium services (charging an annual fee, similar to the Flickr Pro account for example) and no mention of any deals with SMS providers, which seem to be there in plenty. I can only assume that there is some grand plan there and that they are going to surprise us all.
But most importantly, if I'm FBing all the damn time, who's going to look after my precious bloggy-wog? Not sure if that quite works in the same way as Russell Brand's book title, but I'm going to run with it. See where it gets me.