Social Media Breakfast @ PUMA City
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In Defense of Twitter

"If Twitter were a person, it would be an emotionally unstable person. It would be that person we avoid at parties and whose calls we don't pick up. It would be the person whose willingness to confide in us at first seems intriguing and flattering but eventually makes us feel kind of gross because the friendship is unearned and the confidence is unjustified. The human incarnation of Twitter, in other words, is the person we all feel sorry for, the person we suspect might be a bit mentally ill, the tragic oversharer."

Thus writes Meghan Daum in her recent LA Times column, Do only twits tweet?

TwitterI'm a Twitter user, but I found her column humorous - criticisms and all. She's spot on in her description of how many people use the medium (e.g., to update the world on mundane moments in their days, like "I'm heading to the kitchen to make a sandwich").

But here's the thing: who cares what people tweet? If you find it boring and mundane, then don't follow it. I think most of the critics are harping on the wrong thing - blaming the content that is transmitted via the channel on the channel itself.

Jb_recon_telephone_1_m Here's what I mean: think back (if you can) to the early days of radio, or the telephone, or the home computer. When these new technologies came onto the scene, very few people had access, nor did they truly recognize the long-term value that the technology could provide. Take the first phone call: Alexander Graham Bell said to his assistant, Thomas Watson, "Mr. Watson - come here - I want to see you." Pretty boring, right? Not enticing enough to make you want to follow his feed?

But fast forward 133 years, and no one would debate the value of the telephone.

I'm not saying that Twitter is as revolutionary as the phone call, but I am saying don't confuse the medium with the message. And don't be so quick to judge something that's still in its infancy. There are numerous individuals and companies that find value - and enjoyment - from Twitter. If you're not one of them, then simply go elsewhere.

Comments

CultureJunkie

Yeah, I saw that, and I'm not denying it. Just saying that for some people (however few) it's valuable. Just today, Dell went on record saying they attribute $3 million in revenue to traffic from Twitter (http://tinyurl.com/ks5zml). So, your Slate article is NOT conclusive. Success is not defined by mass reach anymore, my friend.

Now go outside and play.

CultureJunkie

Yeah, I saw that, and I'm not denying it. Just saying that for some people (however few) it's valuable. Just today, Dell went on record saying they attribute $3 million in revenue to traffic from Twitter (http://tinyurl.com/ks5zml). So, your Slate article is NOT conclusive. Success is not defined by mass reach anymore, my friend.

Now go outside and play.

Sorrowfully Neglected

Twitter me this:
http://www.slate.com/id/2219995/?GT1=38001
Pretty conclusive evidence eh?

Twitter is nothing more then a flash in the pan, and doesn't seem to be a "relevant medium" for many people at all.

CultureJunkie

Sorrowfully Neglected:

It is disheartening to hear such cynicism from "a member of this nation's youth!"

When you grow up, you will realize that just because you are not interested in a new medium does not mean that it is not a relevant medium for others, or even a viable business channel. As I mentioned in my post, if you don't like it, no one is forcing you to use it. It's myopic to rant about things that clearly have value and purpose to others. Live and let live.

Oh - and why hide behind an anonymous post?

Sorrowfully Neglected

Hello,
Your post on twitter really grinds my gears. As a member of this nation's youth, I believe the best way to socialize is NOT on a computer, never mind updating the drones who follow every meager act that is made and typed out on a whim. And yes, people have the right to criticize whatever they choose. Just because a self-centered, ego maniac believes that it is wrong to poke fun at the newest trend does NOT mean that this is true. Sorry to break it to you sweetheart, everything gets criticized, regardless if you want it to or not! =)

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