Better than Twitter?

For a while now, I’ve been asking the same question of the many people I meet who are more connected than I. After Twitter, what comes next?  

Looking back, The Next Big Thing has always been wittering away in the background before it made it to the front of my consciousness. I can remember a period of some months in the late 90s when I used to keep an old reporter’s notebook on my desk stuffed with my own notes and cuttings ripped from various newspapers. It was a list of useful URLs for the rare occasions when I ventured beyond bbc.co.uk. Then I gradually noticed that people kept mentioning this thing called Google. It sat there in the back of my mind slowly forcing its way to the front. Then there was a period of I-really-should-get-round-to-getting-my-head-round-that before someone finally mentioned it while I was near my computer and tried it.

The same happened for Hotmail.

And even more so for Facebook. One day – about when I received the third or fourth invite to connect with a friend – I became aware that my vague impression of it as some clubby thing used by campus kids in the US may no longer be accurate. There was then a whole new period of I-really-should-get-round-to-getting-my-head-round-that. And once I did, I quickly moved into that obsessional Facebooking phase that many of us have been through.

And now there’s Twitter. Ah, Twitter. The I-really-should-get-round-to-getting-my-head-round-that period lasted longer, if anything. But once I was in, I was in. That was about six months ago.

But this time has been different in one respect. During pretty much the whole time I was Facebook-obsessed, Twitter was making noise in the background that I was vaguely aware of.

But this time round, the noise hasn’t been there, or so I thought. I didn’t think the next big thing had started to show itself. Only it has, and it’s only just pushed through to front-of-mind.

Now it could turn out to be Foursquare, although the first I heard of that was today, when I read about it on the Bruce Clay Australia blog in Kate Gamble’s account of why she’s given up Twitter.

But actually, I think it’s Tumblr. I’ve just realised I’ve kept hearing people mention it, without really taking in. Indeed, I already follow a few Tumblr-based blogs.

But now it’s in front-of-mind, after reading about it on Amnesia’s blog:

“I’ve been using Tumblr for a few months and am loving it as a blogging platform. It really takes the simplicity we love about Twitter and enables a much wider experience.”

I’ve got a feeling I’m back in I-really-should-get-round-to-getting-my-head-round-that mode again.

But is Tumblr really the next big thing? I don’t know – I haven’t got my head round it yet.


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