Three Things to Read About Twitter

Firstly there’s a piece about Inside Twitter in the Guardian

The piece itself is pretty good. But it’s the comments underneath that are the telling bit. It’s full of the usual nonsense and lots of people moaning that Twitter is this year’s Friends Reunited blah blah blah.

guardian twitter

But you know what, to me it doesn’t matter. Twitter is a real thing. It’s something that people are using and enjoying, and it’s changing the way that lots of people spend big chunks of their connected time. Surely anything that affords change in this way can never be seen as a total waste of time?

This piece on Murketing makes some really interesting points about the point of pointlessness. Here’s a flavour of the piece:

Yes. Twitter freaks don’t want to say, “Look, I’m just messing around. I’m goofing off. Yes, it’s a waste of time, but that’s the whole point.” Instead you get the stuff about Twitter being more important than CNN, or about new forms of community, or truth-to-power revolution, and like that. And yeah those arguments can sort of be backed up by examples — but so can counter-arguments about banality and narcisissm.

If it is play, why not just say so? Why not just say it’s fun? After all, one of the reasons “play” is always in vogue in certain business magazines is that it really is important to creativity — taking yourself out of the routine makes your thinking less rigid, etc.

It’s worth a read. Really.

And finally this piece from Umair Haque’s blog at Harvard Business entitled Twitter’s Ten Rules For Radical Innovators gets across some of the bigger more important things that Twitter represents. There’s some typically ‘Harvard Business’ comments too, which are worth skimming. But in general I’m a huge fan of this piece.

I’m not going to spoil it by listing out the rules – go and read it.

9 thoughts on “Three Things to Read About Twitter”

  1. I don’t get how people can think twitter is crap.
    It’s just like saying the telephone is crap.

  2. The trouble is people such as the commentators on that post, saying it’s crap, ARE doing the thing which Twitter does so well. Engaging people around topics.

    It’s ironic that Twitter has stirred a debate away from twitter, which is then blogged by the haters saying twitters crap, which is then re-twittered and blogged by people who love it.

    In summary: They are unknowingly doing the same thing as the people they despise. Social commentary, people voicing opinion. (Albeit a short-sighted and narrow minded one). It’s no different from people nattering at a bus stop or a village post office. Just on a global scale.

  3. well no surprise the comments on the Guardian are fairly well filled with cynical bashing. I think with Twitter (and Facebook et al) a lot of people get stuck at the brand name thing and don’t get the wider implications, or even just the simple thing; that all any of these are really is platforms to talk, whether that’s play or whether that’s communicating important information. People tend to do both those things frequently ‘in real life’, why would any extension of that into the network be any different?

    Its the principal of connectedness that has now become an indisputable fact of life, and I look forward to a time when it’s split between more small applications camouflaged into the normal flow of people’s lives and the devices they use, not platform specific, not brand-name specific, and people will stop focusing on ‘Twitter’ & ‘Facebnook’ etc etc as objects of their anti-everything wrath

  4. @Si Mack – You might find this short post by Mike Arauz affirming:

    @Vic – Adovocates and contrarians alike acknowledge Twitter as a communication ‘phenomenon’ by focusing on it so much.

    So whether you like the service/ brand or not, Twitter is contributing to a shift in the perception of how we can, or should, communicate.

    That alone (IMHO) makes it well worth exploring and understanding.

    Nice post, Iain. Or should that be ‘Nice post @iaintait’ …?

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