On Twitter (was Re: [LINK] Microsoft Live Mesh)
stil at stilgherrian.com
Thu Apr 24 10:01:26 EST 2008
Oh dear, this is going to be can-of-worms time... here we go.
On 24/4/08 9:33 AM, "Craig Sanders" <cas at taz.net.au> wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 24, 2008 at 09:00:20AM +1000, Stilgherrian wrote:
>> It's been interesting to watch the vastly different reaction here on Link
>> with the (mostly) very positive reaction amongst the alpha geeks in my
>> circle of friends on Twitter.
> yes, well, there's your explanation.
> gross, but mostly accurate, generalisation follows:
> Twitter is the lowest form of blogging, with everything worthwhile about
> blogging removed, and all the most annoying things about instant
> messaging added.
> it is basically just an avenue for vacuous people to instantly spew
> every trivial thought that flitters through their minds. people don't
> need more communications tools. they need to learn how to shut up. and
> how to think before opening their mouths.
I don't know how much you look at what's been written about human
communication, Craig, but this is just plain wrong. The VAST majority of
human communication is what you'd call "trivial thoughts" -- the constant
stream of social bonding that holds any group together. It's MEANT to be
ephemeral, since it's about the now.
I've written specifically on this at
http://stilgherrian.com/internet/thoughts_on_twitter/ and there's an
excellent little Canadian video at
This ephemeral communication is how we explore and solidify our own thoughts
and beliefs. We DO say what comes into our heads. And then we monitor the
reactions of those around us and decide whether we need to modify our
thoughts or not.
All Twitter does is put that constant chatter onto the interwebs, so it can
happen at a distance.
I must admit, all I'm detecting here is "old man syndrome": that the new
tool to do this task is "bad", 'cos there's on "old" tool which you may use
for this task. Or is that off the mark?
I don't mean that particularly personally. I had much the same reaction to
Twitter until I actually used it to sty in touch with some of my friends and
colleagues. Some of them, as you'll see from the comments on my blog post,
still have that belief.
I think the reaction is akin to the parents of teenagers in 1960s American
sitcoms, wondering what their kids were doing on the phone "all the time".
The answer is "forming and maintaining their network of friends, their
social connections and their group bond with their peers, using different
methods from their parents".
> learning to think before forming an opinion would be a good idea too.
> but that's probably way too much to hope for, i'll settle for people
> learning how to shut up.
Opinion-forming is a group activity.
Internet, IT and Media Consulting, Sydney, Australia
mobile +61 407 623 600
fax +61 2 9516 5630
ABN 25 231 641 421
More information about the Link