I do use Twitter, even more than I blog nowadays, although we picked the absolute worst time to post this comic because Twitter has been having technical problems all weekend.

Basically, Twitter looks absolutely useless when you first see it. It looks like mini-blogs or IM statuses. And you wonder what you could possibly say in a tweet (what messages on Twitter are called) that you couldn’t say much better in a blog post.

But the 140-character limitation of Twitter is what makes it so special. You can get a wide variety of viewpoints and short bursts of information (including tinyurl links) in a small amount of space. And people have found very creative ways of conveying lots of info in a short space. Some of it is almost poetic.

I was using it as a broadcast medium for a while, just another way to send out links and heads-up about stuff I’m working on, but in recent months, I’ve found myself trying to listen more, to sense what that waves of tweets are saying, what trends are emerging and what people are talking about RIGHTTHISMINUTE.

I never thought Twitter would be something I would use every day or that it would help me do my job, but at South by Southwest Interactive, it was indispensable. Maybe something that takes what Twitter does and adds more layers to it will eventually emerge, but right now, I find it an incredibly useful tool. I’m surprised it took me this long to want to do a comic about that.