Friday, May 8, 2009
Twitter is short and sweet
Readers of this blog in every corner of the world, and readers of the literature about this blog in every corner of the world, will know that I'm not greatly enthused about social media, "status updating", and the technologically enabled narcissism that is web2.0. Nor do I buy the argument that giving everyone a voice necessarily enhances democracy - a townhall meeting where everyone talks is neither fun nor productive. But I'm very happy to discover that the enforced brevity of Twitter gives it a pith (not piff) that I had never expected, and that is otherwise lacking in web2.0. While there will always be those who use every available platform to share uninteresting musings and doings, many of the Twitterers I follow use the platform mostly just to share discoveries of useful sites and interesting bits of information with others; the brevity of the medium encourages rigorous pruning of extraneous editorializing - not unlike the way I excise the slightest sign of excess, dross or impurity in this blog, come to think of it. A peek at my Twitterfox window this morning alerted me to a great new digest of current periodical literature alert service (also available on Twitter! - and a perfect example of the kind of useful twitter deployment I'm talking about), two books (one must read, and one must-not read), and pointers to 5-6 journal and news articles, several of them interesting. For a blogger like me, always looking desperately for something to share with people, Twitter is turning out to be an unexpected tweet!