Blog Focus: "What's Happening?" @ Twitter
It was a little thing but a much debated thing nonetheless for quite a little spell. Twitter asked its teeming tweeting millions "What are you doing?" though for a great long time that questions was somewhat and then completely irrelevant. From breaking news coverage on the ground to summing up political courage of the oppressed to gossiping about the latest crappy hip hop drop to nervously conversing via DMs and RTs and @s on your private account whilst at work, Twitter has morphed and evolved and transformed into so much more than What are you doing?
It became a happening, which is why it makes sense for Twitter to ask us a throw back yet born anew question.
Here's what Biz had to say about it on the Twitter blog:
The fundamentally open model of Twitter created a new kind of information network and it has long outgrown the concept of personal status updates. Twitter helps you share and discover what's happening now among all the things, people, and events you care about. "What are you doing?" isn't the right question anymore—starting today, we've shortened it by two characters. Twitter now asks, "What's happening?"
And onward to other bloggy reactions:
• Mashable: On the surface it’s a minor change, and yet it’s significant in reflecting the shifting focus and user behavior of the service over time. As most users know, the official question is largely ignored by those who have found myriad ways to share pretty much anything they wanted, be it information, relationships, entertainment, citizen journalism, and beyond.
• John Battelle's Searchblog: For starters, it's a rather subtle leapfrog of Facebook, which has recently mimicked Twitter with its status updates. Facebook is stuck (but there are upsides to this stuck-ness) in a personal framework. Twitter, by moving past the YOU, is declaring Facebook's imitation moot.
• TechCrunch: It’s a wise move because “What are you doing” seemed too narrow for the platform. Broadening the question to match all the things people use twitter for was necessary.
• Technologizer: Twitter is catching up to its users, who in large part abandoned the literal description of their activities long ago. My feed might not be an indication of everyone else’s, but looking at the last 40 tweets in my timeline, only six are descriptions of what the person is up to.