I’ve started to use Twitter increasingly and find it to be a great tool. I joined Twitter when it was quite young, a couple of months after it launched but never used it much (my tweetstats graph) but have started using it more often in the past couple of months.
The main point of Twitter is the conversations it fosters as well as meeting new people. The advantages of Twitter over other forms of communication? Short 140 character messages and the ability to follow someone’s “tweets” without them having to follow you, which in my opinion is a good system.
But it is also flawed. As I stated, Twitter is the new medium for quick conversation outside of email, IM etc. Now the web-interface of Twitter is designed such that if someone posts a tweet to you, it comes in your replies tab but not in your message timeline. For those who have many followers, friends on Twitter, they will get a lot of @replies so can easily miss this.
And this has been a frustration. Many times I have tweeted someone but received no reply. No I guess it because they missed my tweet (and assume that they are not ignoring me ;) ) . I think is fundamentally due to the design of twitter. There should be a way for the recipient to know that someone tried to contact him/her. Not necessarily in their normal timeline but somehow, distinguish that someone who is not on their friends list said something to them. In this manner, twhirl/snitter etc are much better because they show all @replies to the twitterer.
Anyway, I have also come to decide that I will only start following me those who follow me. (with a few exceptions of course ) If I follow someone and it is not reciprocated in a few days (a week or two maybe) I will un-follow. I think it is just a matter of courtesy if s/he feels that we can, at some point share a good conversation.
My twitter profile is here. Add me if you want to follow me there :)