With all those social networking sites out there, you wouldn't think there'd be any space for anymore. However there is a new kid on the block, that is riding on a blaze of publicity. Twitter comes from the same guys and girls that brought us the fantastic Odeo. The difference with Twitter over most Social Networking sites, is that it was designed as a site where you tell all your friends what you are doing right now, using short bursts of text.
What is most interesting is a quote from Jeremy Keith's blog:
The usage seems to vary between the States and here. While Americans are doing a lot of updates from mobile, my comrades in the Greenwich Mean Tribe are more likely to update from the website or chat. That means that the US stuff tends to be a bit more outdoorsy than the European updates sent from geeks sitting at their desks.
This is very interesting because it is an example of a service that is ideal for the web on the go. While most American's are probably posting to their Twitter account using SMS (I'm guessing this is how it works), moving to a mobile web browser such as Opera Mobile or Mini would give a much better user experience, not to mention being able to check up on what one's friends are doing at the same time. Along with the new Flickr Mobile and My.Opera's photo blogging with Opera Mini, this is another killer app for the mobile web. It seems that the Twitter guys are aware of this too. If you go to the source, not only is the code XHTML Strict, fairly lean and with little validation errors, but it has mobile friendly access keys and one of the very few examples I've seen in the wild of a handheld stylesheet.
It is great to see them looking to the future and taking a one web approach, but it still has a few teething problems. The first is that the handheld stylesheet doesn't quite work yet. If you check the site out in Opera Mobile, the there will be horizontal scrolling, due to how the styles are set in the stylesheet. It looks much better in Opera Mini, because it takes the handheld stylesheet and applies small screen rendering over the top. The issues with the handheld stylesheet should be fairly trivial to fix however, and I hear that the site is developed and improved at a fast pace. With Opera Mini, all looks rosy until I tried to submit a entry. I could enter the text, but submitting just reloaded the page. I've not had time to look into this yet, but they are likely using AJAX to submit the form, which breaks Opera Mini as it doesn't support xmlHttpRequest, due to its client - server architecture.
I'd love to talk with them to iron out these little kinks, and once that is sorted, we'll really have something to twitter home about while out an about.