Being a proto-gomer, that reminded me of something ...
ConnectMe Networks: Twitter vs CB Radio: What Makes These Mobile Services So PopularCB radio lasted about 4-5 years as a popular movement and AOL chat rooms were good for 10 years, so I give Twitter 3-8 years as a recreational/social medium. Good for some, uninteresting for me.
... CB radio was a lot like Twitter: in the late 70s and early 80s, millions of people bought these radios initially because it allowed them to communicate with each other to locate cheap gas and to notify others of speed traps. But it fell victim to its own popularity: because of the millions of users jamming onto the grid, channels became incredibly noisy and communication became next to impossible. Once people started to use their radios less frequently, it opened the door for a competing technology: the mobile phone...
The useful part of Twitter has to do with the people synchronization problem, the ongoing limits of calendar integration, and the business quirks driving the SMS/IM wars. These things look like they may take years to sort out, during which time Twitter can morph as needed.
CB Radio didn't have that morphing potential -- it ended as it started. So Twitter isn't CB radio, or at least the people synchronization broadcast/asynchronous receipt part of it isn't.
So when might it be useful for me? That's hard to figure, given that so far SMS/IM is only useful between my wife and I, and even then we're limited by Apple's craven refusal to provide Google Talk/Chat or any other app with instant messaging push services.
I think when our children have cell phones and are more independent, or when both my wife and I have phones with working push notification (iPhones if Apple ever caves), or if my work were to change dramatically, I'll have a real use for Twitter.
Not just yet though.