apr 23

In Defense of Twitter

Kottke goes in defense of Twitter, which isn't shocking, except he even goes to bat for even the inane "what I had for breakfast" conversations, suggesting that this is the raw material of social bonds. Balk made a somewhat similar point, that those who oppose Twitter speak from a privileged position. It's true, right? Most of the people I know who are opposed to Twitter are merely holding onto a previously official way of speaking, which they are slowly losing.


This seems like an only slightly different version of Clay Shirky's point about the distinction b/w broadcast and conversation being erased that he outlined in "Here Comes Everybody".

posted by josephchilders at 10:59 AM on April 23, 2009


There are all of these culturally conservative media types (especially here in new york) who are hanging dearly to a style -- or more specifically, to the ideas they've built up over the past few years of how online publishing should work. Their resistance to social media is pure frustration -- they had mastered a craft, blogging, which had started to find a defined, fixed style (a one-to-many publishing style, no less), but it was now being challenged by all this conversation. The confusion is exactly that -- the collision of communication and publishing.

The irony isn't lost here -- it's many of the same people who "invented blogging" who are opposed to Twitter and Facebook.

posted by Rex at 11:04 AM on April 23, 2009

Why do people have to defend what they tweet? If someone is tweeting crap you don't care about, then unfollow them. Or don't use twitter. This shit is boring.

posted by InfoMofo at 11:05 AM on April 23, 2009

Can everyone please stop using the "what I had for [meal]" as the Twitter straw man? NOBODY EVER SAYS THAT. (It's reserved for the Yumblr!)

posted by katiebakes at 11:14 AM on April 23, 2009

Yeah, you'd figure that with all the mainstream attention and articles around, people would understand that it has a lot of "unintended uses" and that the "what are you doing" use is the less important aspect. The backlash is the same thing that happened with blogging, with people either overselling or downplaying it. It will be a while when people reach a middle ground view on it and just view it as another type of medium.

posted by JayCruz at 11:16 AM on April 23, 2009

even straw men have to eat, bakes.

posted by ryan at 11:37 AM on April 23, 2009

for breakfast.

posted by Andy Baio at 12:01 PM on April 23, 2009

Living the gimmick: 90% of my Tweets are which flavour of yogurt I chose that day because I never seem to find other stuff to Tweet about, or it ends up posted somewhere else. At least by now, my "friends" are amused by it (and also know when I am out of yogurt and show great concern).

posted by CRZ at 1:07 PM on April 23, 2009

I agree with what Kottke is saying, but also believe that the rhetoric and technology of Twitter is what makes the inane tweets interesting.

You can tell someone (or everyone) that you had pudding for lunch. Or, you could tell them that you have blown out your pancreas after eating pudding for lunch. I think people are less likely to do this in person, and thus, Twitter becomes interesting mini-literature.

posted by jon_hansen at 1:19 PM on April 23, 2009

Reading MoDo on Twitter, Google and anything else on the Internet is essentially the same thing as asking my Mom about the Internet but with more smug insufferability. And I am flabbergasted at big-name bloggers that hate on Twitter. It's totally ridiculous. You can use the medium for any kind of content youw ant whether it's what you eat, what was in your poo, or what you think about the new Energy bill.

posted by Sam at 1:21 PM on April 23, 2009

@baio and @ryan, yeah yeah yeah yeah. I'm not convinced. My eyes shall continue to roll whenever I see the construct in some humorless article. I guess I just follow the quality people, man.

(egg whites and mozzarella on a whole wheat wrap, bitches!)

posted by katiebakes at 1:25 PM on April 23, 2009

You are what you tweet.

posted by taulpaul at 9:11 PM on April 23, 2009

This twitter account: http://twitter.com/Newyorkist is pretty tops. When a car chase ends up with the driver bailing and getting tackled, it'll be twittered: "http://twitpic.com/3y1hw - Hot mess on 135Th and ACP right now"

posted by paolo at 10:53 PM on April 26, 2009

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