Saturday, January 07, 2012

Saturday Morning Musings - tweet not lest you be twatted

Starting today's meander with a list of my posts elsewhere over the last week. There aren't a lot of them:

Over on on Scepticslawyer, deusexmacintosh's post Cameron’s First Law of Twitter Personified drew a comment from skepticlaw:

I must admit I’m with Lorenzo on this; tweet not lest you be twatted. Technology has a habit of conferring some ambiguous ‘benefits’ at the same time as all the good stuff, while the people using that technology haven’t changed very much, hence the problems with foot in mouth disease.

This got me thinking about sometimes ambiguous nature of Twitter and the love-hate relationship I have that that particular medium.

I don't follow a lot of people on Twitter, just sixty five. Even with that number, the volume of tweets sometimes swamps me - thirty in the last two hours. With the time I have, I don't understand just how people can read so many tweets when they follow six hundred or more people!

Still, that's not the point of today's muse.

I know when I write  - short or long - that there is always a tendency to be frank. It is at tendency I have to discipline, for I know that the things that I write are public. Yet this is one reason why Twitter is so insidious. The very form of Twitter encourages the illusion that what one writes is actually a conversation, limited but still a conversation. We think of the conversation relationship as between us and our followers in general, particular individuals in particular, yet it's not. It's a public dialogue with the world.

The biggest problem comes where people tweet for immediate effect. Grab attention now, repent at leisure. Twat follows tweet.

The tendency is always there. I know what will attract attention, whether in tweet or post. I am tempted to go for the instant grab. Yet it's also very silly.

I really do need to finish cleaning the swimming pool. It is such a nice day. I am feeling happy and don't want to write serious stuff! Facebook, blogs, Twitter - get behind me!


Anonymous said...

Hi Jim

That's really quite interesting that you 'follow' over 60 twitter accounts! Do you also contribute, or is it mainly an information resource for you?

Must say, I sometimes find it hard to organise my own thoughts, much less make sense of anyone else's ;) Whatever. Think I'll give it a miss until I'm forced.


Jim Belshaw said...

The difficulty with me is that I combine. I follow some people for information, some for personal reasons. Two thirds of my tweets are simply post notifications, the other third combines some information tweets with responses.

I do find it useful, including the way in which it draws some traffic, especially with re-tweets. However, there is a large, growing and sometimes annoying cross-over with Facebook. People increasingly treat Twitter as though it was Facebook.