Twitter Overlords?

There’s been a lot of talk lately about Twitter and how it’s utterly killed the pastime of blogging now and for all eternity. All hail Twitter, conquering hero, master and overlord of all it surveys. Right? Right?

Undeniably, Twitter has starved the personal blogs of content. The traditional fodder of personal blogs— the observations of how cute, precious, and smart one’s children and pets are; listing the latest charming and/or disgusting acts committed by one’s spouse; the venting of pet peeves (including one’s spouse’s atrocious table manners); and just generally saying “I AM HERE” to the world— might actually be more suited to a more immediate and disposable medium.

It certainly could take less time to tweet “OMG, my husband just farted at the dinner table again! I HATE THAT!” than it could for the air to clear again afterward. (This depends, of course, on what you’re feeding him. If it’s my famous home-cooked chili, then you might well have time to write a full blog post, with photos.)

While I haven’t been posting a lot lately, at least I haven’t succumbed to Twittosis. I admit, I have used Twitter in the past. I think my first serious attempt was last March, when I “microblogged” my vacation. I think my last serious attempt at Tweeting was when I mentioned that I accidentally swore at a nun.

But Twitter just doesn’t turn me on. Even though it’s billed as a “microblogging” service, Twitter’s more like an inside-out chatroom with a permanent scrollback buffer. You are the room and you control who is in the room. But, unlike a chatroom, those in your room are, for the most part, unaware of each other. Instead, they broadcast messages to the occupants of their own rooms, hoping that someone’s listening.

It’s like being at a party where the guests are only allowed to communicate by megaphone. As you can imagine, this results in a lot of chaotic noise. Some people thrive in such environments, and that’s probably why Twitter’s grown to be as popular as it is. Or if not popular per se, then at least buzzworthy.

But it’s this buzzworthiness that could drive Twitter to jump the shark. It seems like the marketing types of the world have identified Twitter as a new resource to be exploited. A new hose to be turned upon the public, the better to douse us with commercial messages. So now even the least tech-savvy marketers are leaping aboard in droves. I have the image of rats leaping from a sinking ship, but reversed, with rats flying from the ocean on to the deck. And then the ship sinks.

Seriously. It seems like by the time the mainstream media notices something, the party’s just about over. Why, it seemed like not so long ago, everything was MySpace this and MySpace that. And now, it certainly appears that MySpace has jumped the shark. And before that, people were abuzz about SecondLife, and now one hardly hears a peep about that anymore.

Speaking of mainstream media, you can hardly get more mainstream than the Tonight Show.

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2 thoughts on “Twitter Overlords?”

  1. It’s like being at a party where the guests are only allowed to communicate by megaphone.

    I said blogging was like the last guy at a party, eating crusty, room temperature dips.

    You’re right though. Twitter is a one sided conversation that feeds egos like crack to a crackbaby.

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