Much ado about tweeting

Copyright (c) FreeFoto.comOn the web, there are fewer things more amusing than the sport of watching mainstream journalists write pseudo psychological/sociological bullshit on emerging technologies. (As an experimental psychological, I’ve read a enough of this to be reasonably expert.) Blogs, for example, are dismissed as mostly crap, irrelevant and, on occasion, vomit-inducing. As a criticism, you could apply this to vocal conversation, and it would be equally idiotic.

The latest chap to make a moderate tit of himself is the author of this article from AdvertisingAge. The blog is not his target, but Twitter. ‘What Twitter?’ I hear you Tweet. Well, this is an online service that allows users to post extremely short descriptions of what they’re doing at a given moment. It’s nothing more or less than that. For me, it’s entirely a piece of art; I love the idea of people from all over the world just answering a simple question over and over. I first heard of it via Leo Laporte. For a visual demo, check out this Twitter map.

I’m sorry, but if you don’t think this is simply awesome as a piece of global, human expression, then I can’t help you.

Anyway, the author of the AdvertisingAge article wanted to illustrate the pointlessness of Twitter (damn it, so what if it’s pointless; why use utility as a marker to justify the existence of art?), and he sampled some Tweets at random. Guess what? One of them was mine:

Having a nap in the hope my feverish symptoms will abate.

Fame at last! But one of my Twitter friends, Debra Hamel, took exception, and posted a response on her blog. An excerpt:

Twitter is not thousands of people tweeting their every move to the world at large. It’s thousands of interconnected, opt-in communities in which people are tweeting their whereabouts and current reading and lunch plans and health updates to the members of their virtual communities–which may include people in their real-life communities too, like family members and work mates.

Well said, Debra. Twitter is a conversation. It’s a communicative technology, and attacking it is as pointless as attacking two cups and piece of string.

What a muppet.

Published by

Ian Hocking

Writer and psychologist.

4 thoughts on “Much ado about tweeting”

  1. Ian, mate, he works in advertising, so he has no grounds to attack any other medium or art as useless 🙂 As Bill Hicks (my patron saint) once said, if there’s anyone here who is in advertising go kill yourselves right now, you serve no useful purpose except to put a dollar price on everything… The ad folks probably are setting up a similar site now with fake entries from ‘real’ people all claiming to be using some great product right now. I think they call this site ‘TWAT’

  2. Good point, Joe. In fact I’m already getting added as a ‘friend’ by suspiciously market-oriented Twits…

  3. Douglas, wait till they get a load of my ‘giving himself a home haircut’ tweet. New depths of profundity are being plumbed. I feel dizzy.

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