February 19, 2009

3 New Thoughts About Twitter

It has come to my attention that there were a few readers who I neglected to insult or antagonize in my rant about Twitter the other day. Consequently, more ranting is called for.

New Thought #1:

A number of commenters about my previous Twitter post assumed that I am either anti-technology or protective of traditional advertising. I am neither.

As a former science teacher, I have a great fondness for technology. It is not the technological aspect of Twitter that bothers me.

Nor am I protective of traditional advertising. It doesn't need my protection. Advertising is like an insect. It will be here long after we're all dead. I've been around long enough to have heard all the baloney about the death of advertising five times over.

In my lifetime advertising was going to be killed by:
  • cable TV
  • generic brands (an oxymoron?)
  • the VCR
  • the computer (Remember? Clients were going to make spots on their desktops!)
  • Wal-Mart
  • digital cable TV (Remember? During programs, we were going to click on products that were placed in “content” and be taken to “long form” info-somethings and then order the product through our TV! Golly!)
  • the internet
  • TiVo
  • Google
  • social media
Advertising never has been and never will be killed by technology. It will co-opt anything that gets in its way. The only hideous atrocities that can do serious damage to advertising are bad economic conditions and account planning.

So what's my gripe with Twitter?

It's a colossal, embarassing waste of time. Yes, I'm sure there is some component of what happens on Twitter that is valuable to people. Maybe 5%. The rest is moronic circle-jerking disguised as networking and narcissistic me-ism masquerading as "social" interaction.

It is mostly wasted time that could be spent doing something valuable. Like reading a blog.

New Thought #2:

I've always loved the promise implicit in the magazine Us.

Who is Us?

Brad and Jen and Angelique and Paris and Oprah and Brit and You. Yes, you! You are part of one big connected group of celebrities. Don't think you're special or important? Think you're a pathetic loser? Nonsense! You're one of Us! Come over here and let me give you a hug. Oh, and while you're here, that'll be 4 dollars, please.

Twitter is digital Us. (T=dU)

New Thought #3:

It's easy to imagine lightweights on Twitter. It's hard to imagine people with a seriousness of purpose.

Would Churchill have had a Twitter account? Would Gandhi? Would Updike? Here's a game, just click to play: Twits or Not Twits?

Results on Monday.

...anyone left I haven't insulted?

Don't Forget To...
...Twitter this link to your friends.

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