This is going to make me sound like an old man in his rocking chair on the front porch, but let me tell you about the early days of Twitter…
The first time I mentioned Twitter on here was back in November 2006:
I’ve been playing around with Twitter, a neat little service from the people who brought you Odeo. You send it little text updates via SMS, the website, or Jabber.
A few weeks later, I wrote about some of its emergent properties:
Overall, Twitter is full of trivial little messages that sometimes merge into a coherent conversation before disintegrating again. I like it. Instant messaging is too intrusive. Email takes too much effort. Twittering feels just right for the little things: where I am, what I’m doing, what I’m thinking.
That’s right; back then we didn’t have the verb “tweeting” yet.
In those early days, some of the now-ubiquitous interactions had yet to emerge. Chris hadn’t yet proposed hashtags. And if you wanted to address a message to a specific person—or reply to a tweet of theirs—the @ symbol hadn’t been repurposed for that. There were still few enough people on Twitter that you could just address someone by name and they’d probably see your message.
That’s what I was doing when I posted:
I’m assuming Simon Willison got a haircut or something.
In any case, it’s an innocuous and fairly pointless tweet. And yet, in the intervening years, that tweet has received many replies. Weirdly, most of the replies consisted of one word:
Then a little while back, I realised what was happening. This is the URL for my tweet:
Pesky kids with their stoner sexual-innuendo numerology!