What is useful software?

After continuously reading about Twitter I created an account and tried it. Even after reading "A Minimalist’s Guide to Using Twitter Simply, Productively, and Funly" at Zenhabits, I cannot really see the benefit.

I was used to face a problem and then create a solution for it. Looking at IT developments of the last years I think that a lot of software is created and used many times without either knowing why. I have read comments from people trying hard to figure out the deeper sense of using Twitter. Instead of just letting go they spend hours trying to find a sense in using it. I find that strange.

Apart from the fact that there are particular special features in Twitter other than being a micro-blog with some character of an RSS feed, there is no particular focus and that's the worst. If I would seek out for new employees, would Twitter be a starting point where to seek? Nope. Would I look at Twitter to read peoples opinions? No, I would read an RSS feed of a blog where I know that one takes more time to write a blog article than chit-chatting on Twitter. Would I look for solutions to technical problems? Neither.

There are already Instant messengers, Wikis, Blogs, RSS feeds, forums and mailing lists. All those things have been created to solve particular problems and - sure - later have been used in a wider area also for other purposes.

Software is a tool, it should help me - or the user - to get something done, faster or better.

There are enough areas in IT where still big mess is happening - Backup & Restore, Privacy & Security, Information management and document management, customer relationship management just to mention a few. So there are enough opportunities to improve.

When creating software we should keep in mind that
  • there are people who want to get their work done quickly and then go outdoors and have fun (those people are not willing to play with fancy features),

  • there are people having difficulties using a computer (they are not very familiar with it and even not very interested to change this) and

  • there are people - power users - who want to get the most out of the computer by trying to solve everything with the help of the computer - those are also focused on achieving a lot of particular goals.
Twitter is an application that does not serve any of those groups mentioned above. If I seek for particular information there are particular websites, wikis or forums where I can find that information because those places are focused on particular areas providing much information. Same applies for particular software.

Twitter is doing chit-chat to the world - whoever is listening (or not). As soon as something is going to be all and nothing the question for the purpose should be asked.

Related post: Why I don't need Twitter.

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