A few days ago I was explaining to my friend what Twitter is. He thought it sounded similar to a message board I made back in 2001 for my friends to keep in touch after we all left for college. At the time I wasn’t really familiar with blogging. I believe this was the first real code I wrote in PHP. It definately served it’s purpose well for a few years. As you can see from the stats, usage has died off completely. I think this concept was more along the lines of the blog aggregation “planets” (ResTek, Mozilla, gnome, etc) of today.
I will now claim that I almost invented Twitter.
Back in 2003, AIM was the hot shit with people living in the dorms. I really liked how much effort people put into their away messages. I remember a peticular away message of mine declaring how awesome last nights party must of been because I woke up and there was a beer bottle in my fish tank.* My idea was to write a script that logged the away messages of everyone I knew and stored them in a DB. I got really tangled up in implementation details. I tried using perl and some module that could connect to AIM. For some reason I thought I needed to use threading in perl. This became a giant nightmare as I knew very little of perl or threading at the time. Needless to say, the script never made it into a cron, and the rest was not history. I can’t help but wonder what kind of website I would have thrown together once I started gathering data…
These days I notice that people still put a lot into their status messages on gchat, AIM, etc. And facebook has fully embraced status updates as well. It took me a while to warm up to Twitter, but I’m really liking it now. How else am I supposed to get updates on what my friends are doing from a hut in some tiny village in Uganda that has no electricity or running water?
* I thought it would be a good addition to the tank so I drunkenly boiled it and placed the sterile bottle in the tank. It was a clear Corona bottle, and actually did work pretty well in a fish tank.