Twitter. Let’s get a sense of perspective.

In Blogging on Blogging, Web 2.0 & all that on January 25, 2009 by Alan Lovell Tagged: , , ,

This Twitter thing. Apparently it broke the news that a plane crashed in the Hudson a full 15 mins before the mainstream media. This, by tweeters, twitters or twits (or whatever they’re called) who admire, advocate and are generally addicted to Twitter say what a great thing this is. I would ask, is it really? Isn’t Twitter merely the product of, and symptomatic of, a culture which is so obsessed with speed and brevity that it’s impossible to find a decent, informed news discussion show on tv or radio now? Fifteen minutes quicker. I mean really, who cares?

Or is that unfair? Am I sounding curmudgeonly?

I think speed of communication and the technology involved is great fun, and I don’t think Twitter is a nonsense in and of itself. But it’s just that – fun. It’s not changing the world, is it?

No doubt I’ll be a twit(ter) myself by Summer… *sigh*


5 Responses to “Twitter. Let’s get a sense of perspective.”

  1. Well, it is certainly fine to be skeptical and you won’t catch me frowning on your non-impressedness. I had been dragging my heels up until now on the Twitter front. There is quite a range of views on Twitter–from Dean at the UBC Academic Search blog who bemoans the lack of Canadian informaticists on Twitter to, well, my older sister who has eschewed all technogadgets until recently (she saw them as empty time-wasters). She now has a BlackBerry. So my point is, it serves us well not to dive in too soon if we are skeptical. But I think it better to dive, if the risks are moderate/low, to gain experience on the matter.

    I agree with your insinuation that reporting a plane crash 15 min before the news is a bit useless and/or grisly. But it does demonstrate the massive growth (=uptake) of Twitter–something like 790% in 2008 alone. How can it actually be useful? It is quite limited. There has to be some back and forth, I think.

    • I think it probably could be quite useful. I like the idea of following people with specific interests. And maybe Stephen Fry…. (apparently Hugh Laurie isn’t really Hugh Laurie). Do keep us all informed of how it’s going!

  2. Totally agree with your point about speed and brevity – twitter is a reflection of that culture. But it is also about making connections – simple connections – with people you may not meet in other circles. And those connections can move deeper if there is more beneath the surface.

    Interesting article about twittering/jonathan ross and celebs on the beeb today – more things like this will only cause it to grow. However another view is “The majority of twitter is PRs, journos and indos”.

    I say give it a go, and if you dont like it, then nothing lost.

    • You’re quite right of course, I ought to just give it a go. However I do enjoy being a luddite for a while before finally submitting to the inevitable… I do still wonder though if I really want to be ‘switched on’ all the time to what’s happening. In fact, I’ve gone out of my way to read less news recently, and am enjoying it considerably!

      You’ve got a good website going on there by the way. All the best with it.

      Cheers – and thanks for commenting!

  3. ps – nice articles on here, in with the web 2.0 vibe (i run a VLE for med students)

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