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Reluctant to tweet…

June 27, 2009

I’ve ignored twitter mania with determination thus far.   I highly recommend Adam’s write up on twitter usage.

Twitter strikes me as the social media equivalent of the Nextel phone – the push to talk walkie-walkie that I’ve also shunned.   Sure, these technologies can be used artfully and for constructive purposes, but I find them self consumptive, and devoid of deeper context. 

In the early days of “cell-phonery”, one of my personal peevs was being in the middle of an important, real face to face conversation with another person only for their phone to ring and have them hold up a hand telling me they needed to take the call.  Sure, there are legitimate emergencies – wife having a baby, kids hair is on fire, etc.   But too often it was some moron calling to say “Whazzzzzup!”  Remember those?  

The push to talk feature only seemed to amplify this behavior, and I came to detest working on a project with someone while their phone constantly chirped as members of their social circle repreatedly “hit them” on the phone.   How presumptive this technology – pushing a button, beaconing a response with no regard for what the other person might be doing at the time.    Even worse were the behaviors created on the recipient end.    While building my house I noted the prevalence in the construction industry – Nextels were ubiquitous.   While a worker wouldn’t answer his ringing phone to accept a normal incoming phone call, he would respond to the voice equivalent of the instant message.  Why?  The expectation of brevity?

I’ve viewed twitter in much the same regard.  The sea of tweets that must be followed -would be robbers of focus and time.  How fragmented we are becoming.  We seem to reward and revel in our digital  A.D.D.   As twitter becomes even more mainstream, it is being seen as new ad space, virtual billboards, virtual junkmail full of coupon offers floating about.  The rush to monetize it, or chase the follower metrics as some kind of social status.   Blogging was last year’s bully-pulpit and twitter is on course perhaps to replace it.   While merchants flock to monetize twitter, I have to wonder how long before they are extorted by twitterers with high follower counts and a sense of self importance?   

Maybe I just don’t get it.  My betters in this space are on twitter and I may well have to embrace it one day.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 27, 2009 6:59 pm

    Twitter isn’t really a one-to-one communication medium. It is a micro-blog platform, not all that different from a Web log, which you use. Typically people follow more Twitter users than they do Web logs, but then the tweets are much much shorter. I dunno. I don’t find it all that distracting, and I’m occasionally amused or informed by the few dozen people I follow.

    The real strength of Twitter is in search and hashtags and such. And to use those properly, you need to use an application, rather than the Web site. I’d say try it w/ Twitterrific or such before you write it off.

    But yeah, it’s not a reinvention of the Web or anything.

  2. June 27, 2009 10:58 pm


    Fair counterpoints, glad I elicited a response, and especially good to hear from you!

  3. vijaysaradhi permalink
    June 29, 2009 10:17 am

    Mark, you are right in certain aspects about the way people monetize on the immense interest on twitter.I find it only useful when i update my status which also gets reflected on windows live and sites which have twitter integrated into them.

    Which social media platform do you use? facebook,myspace?

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