Anne Helmond (2010) describes Social Media Rivers as having certain characteristics. Firstly, they should be in perpetual Beta, meaning that they are always changing, then, they should be networked - not one single website or page, but a shared community. Also they should be user generated, one users identity is determined by other users. They should be distributed, storing and sharing in the 'cloud'. They should be indexed and need to be updated regularly, and finally, they should be persistent, lasting and enduring.
Akshay Java et al (2007) describe microblogging, in particular Twitter, as a phenomenon in which users share and seek information in small bursts. It is described as fulfilling a need to communicate ever faster, and because the space is limited to 140 characters, there is less demand on the user to write long texts. The main user intentions are described as daily chatter, conversations, sharing of information and URLs, and reporting news. The main types of users are the information source, friends, and the information seeker.
Personally I find the notion of sharing daily banalities completely useless and boring. The main reason I can see for using Twitter is to make links with users with similar interests and in doing so be up on new and interesting things happening in the world, in my personal case I link with artists, arts groups and galleries.
Anne Helmond (2010) ' Identity 2.0: Constructing identity with cultural software.' Anne Helmond. New Media Research Blog. Available: http://www.annehelmond.nl/wordpress/wp-content/uploads//2010/01/helmond_identity20_dmiconference.pdf
Akshay Java et al (2007) ‘Why We Twitter: Understanding Microblogging Usage and Communities’, Procedings of the Joint 9th WEBKDD and 1st SNA-KDD Workshop 2007, August 12.
Tama Leaver (2007) ‘It’s a Small World After All: From Wired’s Minifesto to the Twitterati’, Tama Leaver dot Net, March 11.