All good points. No. twitter is not particularly new. It works because my people are there… if my community moved (or my networks) i would move with it.
The thing that makes twitter a ‘not a status’ kind of place (that’s what i use skype for) is that I don’t want to ‘be available’ for everyone on twitter all the time. I participate as I have time. This seems to work well.
When i need to write something more concrete than 140 characters I write here on this blog. (or I call someone) the 140 characters forces people to refine their ideas to a point. I find that helpful.
As for designing a better one? In a sense I’m trying that at the university with the laconica project… which offers more of a common ground and isn’t proprietary. I’m not sure what ‘better’ would look like, maybe the combination of the twelve things i use… but i like the fact that i can keep my networks a little separated. It’d be fun to sit around and fight about though 🙂
for me the software comes after the network… I’ll always choose bad software with good people, might sound weird… but i can’t always predict what people will use.