Backup of David's Livejournal

Twitter's Damaging Effect

It's been noted at this journal before, but it bears repeating again:

Twitter is damaging journalistic tendencies around the world.

I'm beginning to think that Hugh MacLeod got it right when he said he'd quit twitter.  I don't think he kept that promise, though.

Kathy Sierra's Asymptotic Twitter Curve bears reading again.

I still think that that Alan Herrell's quip that twitter's a toy that "disguises motion as activity" has truth to it.

I lament that twitter's so powerful that I couldn't draw more friends into jaiku, instead.

I blog less because of twitter, and I'm not happy about that.

[Edit 2008-08-04] Michael Heilemann notices the effects of microblogging, too.
Tags: web


 pastilla on May 26th 2008 at 10:02 PM
O! Kathy Sierra! She nails it. As for me, I keep thinking that one of these days I will have a use for Twitter . . . but so far, not really.

 dblume on May 26th 2008 at 10:22 PM
Kathy Sierra frequently got to the heart of the issue. Creating Passionate Users was one of my favorite blogs. Twitter is dangerous. Once on, and once you have a community of friends there, you'll feel that desire to keep up and to keep them up to date. And yet, it's so hard to quit. Hugh MacLeod tried. Leo LaPorte tried. And back they came!

 davidd on May 27th 2008 at 7:35 AM
What makes it so hard to quit? Bear in mind, this query comes from someone who has yet to try either Twitter or heroin. I mean, I kinda think of Livejournal as "a community of friends" where I "feel that desire to keep up and to keep them up to date." But I guess it just doesn't have the same short-attention-span appeal to most people as does something like Twitter. People seem to be able to drop LJ without a second thought. Maybe Twitter is popular because Twitter is simplistic. It's just a bunch of soundbites. Or textbites. Even the "tweets" you post which show up at LJ are often, to me at any rate, nearly meaningless due to lack of context. I guess I'm a dinosaur, stuck back in the Two-Or-More Complete Sentences age. Not to disparage your pithy one-liners, but I don't know that I'd have as deep an appreciation for your intelligence, wit, or excellent taste in music videos featuring bikini-clad Asian girls playing bongo drums if I knew you only through your "tweets." Anyway, people seem to be able to abandon LJ for Twitter; heck, people are even jumping ship on MySpace, which used to be the o-my-gawd-gotta-have-it online thing. Twitter's probably a fad. Tweeting about twittering is a self-absorbed fad-within-a-fad. People will drop Twitter when the Next Big Thing comes along. Or the next Little Thing. Something even more terse, and less meaningful. Related question re Twitter "community of friends." Unless they're people you already know IRL, how can your Twitter community become "friends?" I mean, how do you get to know somebody through sentence fragments? I suppose, over time, you could piece a profile together. But it would take years of tweets to add up to "Pastilla and the Bear." Mr. Blume's world comes to life through on-line conversations... even if they're about Morning Musume or which Godzilla movies he's introducing to his kids. A 'tweet' of "Kids watching Tokyo SOS" doesn't really offer the same insight into who dblume actually is like even a short LJ story about selecting DVDs for a weekend family getaway. Maybe I should give Twitter a try. I haven't had much to say lately anyway, and my attention span is already becoming fragmented, so it might be my cup of tea. But really, I don't have time for another internet Thing, what with my duties as a Pinky-Street-dot-com moderator and all. Heck, I haven't even checked SparkleSystemSix in a blue moon. So, like... blog somethin', will ya?

 dblume on May 28th 2008 at 12:10 AM
Sometimes, you play the crotchety old man role well. Your points are well taken, though. What makes it hard to quit? Twitter provides immediacy that LJ and MySpace do not. Twitter is easier, too. Twitter lends itself to haiku and concise messages. Those can be fun to construct. Unless they're people you already know IRL, how can your Twitter community become "friends?" Generally, the idea is that you bring your existing friends to twitter. It is not the case that strangers follow you and "get to know you" from your tweets. So, you're right about that social aspect.

 davidd on May 28th 2008 at 3:22 AM
"Not the case that strangers follow you...." Other than "Stephen Colbert," you mean.