Damn kids! Get off my web!
Scott Burkett, Stop Twittering and Go Solve a Problem: "Aside from aesthetically looking like something a 12 year old cobbled up, the entire tool seems utterly pointless to me."
For Scott, Twitter probably is pointless at first glance. And that's because no one's talking to him. Really, this should be a FAQ for all social media, to be read by all journalists and commentators: Listening in on random strangers' conversations is more likely to be boring than not, and that's what you're doing if you just go to twitter.com and start clicking around. But, to assume because you're bored that the service as a whole is boring is, again, to be one of the Blind Men with an Elephant.
Twitter becomes immensely interesting when it turns out that you've amassed a group of contacts who tend to run in similar circles as you, because even their off-handed remarks and random burps have a decent chance of surfacing something interesting or entertaining. When it's good, this sets up a nice ambient chatter like sitting in a coffee shop filled with just your kind of people.
This same "I'm bored, so it's boring" mistake has popped up again and again - applied to blogging, MMORPGs, social bookmarking, MySpace, what have you. Replace "bored/boring" with "confused/confusing" or "annoyed/annoying" and you've got my own early reactions to MySpace.
But, really, it's not addressed to you if there's a buzz and you're not groking it. That's a clue that you're probably missing something. Granted, people can be insane, but it really is more likely that you're missing something - even if it's just that there's a particular brand of entertaining insanity in progress to which you're not attuned.