I dig Twitter, really I do. It's a time suck and guilty pleasure at the same time. However, I think Twitter people need to realize a couple of things:
Point 1. Twitter is not for conversation in the way an IM is for conversation. When you "reply" to a twitter update, usually in the form of "@ friendname: message" you are spamming your friends with worthless crap (I have been guilty of this too, btw).
I can't think of anything more vacuous than getting an update that says:
@Carl: good point!
Who the F is Carl?
Please note that Twitter *can* be used for 1:1 conversation, it's called Direct Text or Personal Message. This is from the Twitter Lingo Support Page:
Direct Text: Send Twitter Friends Personal Messages
Sometimes a Twitter inspires a private reply. You can send your Twitter friends personal text messages. Click "message" from their profile page on the web, or reply to a Twitter message directly from your phone. From the phone, don't forget to designate the user name, or the message will post to the public timeline! The formula for Direct Text is: D + user name + your message.
Example: D Jade I want to see Borat too; when are you going, and where?
Have a question? Send it to all your friends as a Twitter update.
Want to reply to someone? Use a personal message.
Point 2: People use phones for Twitter too. I have enjoyed Twitter the most on my mobile phone, but I had to turn it off. I can deal with chatter as long as it's not a bunch of disjointed conversations. I really want to use the phone, but it's not worth it until we come to agreement about a sustainable way to use Twitter. If you're using IM to send updates, remember that some people are using phones and IM is a different format with different rules.
All this being said, I still want to be your Twitter friend. Add me?