Thursday, February 4, 2010

Pining for 'The Old Days' of Twitter

Twitter -- aside from all the MLM and "do what I do on Twitter and you'll be rolling in the dough like Chief Joseph in Maverick" twits -- is kind of a fun place to be. But once and a while something comes along that just makes me laugh out loud.

There's this phenomenon of retweeting, or shouting out into the darkness yet again with some nugget of Twitter wisdom sent to you from someone else. I do it occasionally, but don't really fret if the stuff I say doesn't get re-tweeted because mostly i use Twitter for nonsense.

Then there are the people obsessed with getting their fifteen secoonds of fame, and badger people all over the palce for retweets. That gets me to today's funny. In a blog post complaining about being badgered for retweets, this was said:
In the old days, each tweet had to stand on its own two feet; the composer of that tweet had to put time and effort into a compelling title and good content. Now it seems so many of us have just gotten lazy, and we figure we’ll send out a bunch of DMs requesting an RT, and maybe someone will actually do it. This whole thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
In the old days. Wow. She's gonna ask us to get off her lawn next. Twitter is, what, maybe three years old, even younger in the mainstream? And already we've got folks sitting on their porches in their rocking chairs pining for the good ol' days. That's funny. Maybe the internet is aging us all prematurely -- although it's hard to talk about maturity and most of the Internet in the same sentence.

This blog thought does point out something interesting about the Internet, however. Clay Shirky and others like to talk about how liberating it all is, eliminating the middleman between author and publisher. The author can now publish, and that's great in a way. But Shirky and others also point out that means there's an awful lot of crap out there that must be sorted through in order to find the good stuff. That's when you discover that eliminating the middleman (agents, editors, et cetera) has a downside, because for the most part they're able to filter out the crap and see that only the good stuff (and that opens up another can of worms entirely, because not everything that's published the old-fashioned way is good).

But that doesn't mean we need to pander to the attention-getters. No, wait, it does, because with Twitter, that's the principal purpose, right?

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