Thanks for the comment. I do agree with you that Plurk (and indeed Identi.ca) are other popular tools for micro-blogging that are extremely popular with certain commuities and in certain geographic areas. I also think that for many people who currently use Twitter in a B2B context (myself included), there might be more benefit from the topic-centric approach of something like Plurk. This would make it more akin to an online community of practice or a shared network of peers.
However, I think I was trying to make a different point with the post above. The point that Twitter is starting to gain a mass or popular adoption in the UK. I think that this development in itself is worthy of comment and discussion. With only about 4-5 million users worldwide, Twitter has in 2008 remained a fairly niche commodity. For the people that use it, it certainly won't feel like this as they and their own networks are members. But in 2009 I think we will see the total number of people using Twitter, and the number of networks that go with this, increase quite dramatically. I think we will start to see prime time television using Twitter as a means of getting audience feedback or even running competitions; and newspapers taking comment through Twitter into print.
These developments will have to go hand-in-hand with a mass adoption of Twitter. We will need it to become more popular outside the networks that currently use it. I think this will happen and I think that's exciting. When more people start to use the tool we will together innovate new and different uses for it. Twitter will, I suspect, be used in very different ways by the end of this year as it is at the start. Many people will find that the benefit they personally gain from Twitter will start to diminish as this happens (I would possibly put myself in this group), as new rules and expectations filter into the Twitter user-base. This is unlikely to be a problem as these are the people who are most likely to go elsewhere, use new tools, adopt the latest developments.
So I think that Twitter will gain a mass adoption in 2009 in a way that it hasn't to date. I think that this is significant and important as it means we will see a real change in the way that the tool is being used - innovation will be ripe. I also think that some of the original users will find that the ways in which they have always used Twitter become less 'the norm' and so they may go elsewhere.
I don't see any of this as problematic, rather as a social media analyst I think this is an exciting development to watch as it shows how mass adoption changes human behaviour, social interactions and the way we use the tools that are at our disposal.
Of course Plurk (and indeed Identi.ca and others) are interesting tools that have a role to play within the greater changes that are going to happen within the micro-blogging environment this year. I just wanted to make a point about Twitter.