Twitter, Twhirl, and FriendFeed
I’ve been using these three technologies for about a week now, and I definitely have enough experience with them to say that I’m hooked. Not massively so, but I’m using them.
Twitter is basically a group IM client in a website. You join, and add all your friends on the service. You and your friends’ posts are all displayed together, chronologically, just like IMs. But it’s a semi-permanent record; you can glance down the list, see someone’s note, and quickly reply. And all your friends see your reply and can join in.
But Twitter’s a website. Twhirl packages that up into a desktop IM client (Windows and Mac). Twhirl works exactly like an IM client. So you can have an ongoing conversation with your friends, over the course of days.
Now consider FriendFeed, which aggregates all your friends’ Twitter, Digg, del.icio.us, YouTube, etc. messages, along with the ability to vote and comment on each entry. It’s like a mini-forum for everyone’s activity.
So Twhirl gives you a 24-hour chat channel with all your friends, and FriendFeed gives you a 24-hour forum with all your friends. For free.