Twitter? What sort of name is that? How could I, with my lofty journalistic intentions possibly subscribe to a micro blogging site with such a silly name? Birds twitter (the feathered variety), twits twitter and so now do 6 million users- some of which have very impressive resumes.
Ever one to compromise my highbrow principles I signed up and decided to follow some bigwigs about their business. One of my first acquisitions, after trying and failing to find an original and witty user name, was Salam Pax. Pax is the legendary blogger of Baghdad, who documented the run up to the Iraq war as only a native Iraqi with a masterful command of English could.
And then after some searching I got Stephen Fry!!
And then Barack Obama!!
Surely this is better than checking hordes of Facebook updates? Be gone you Facebook plebs!!! Now I can follow a community entirely made up of fantastic, rich, powerful, sexy people who spend their time twittering snippets of interesting informed info!!! I’m part of their world at last!!!
Now I can follow journo/writer types who no doubt I will impress with my forthcoming tweets and further my burgeoning career. I can glean the nuggets of their minds without having to trawl through their tiresome blogs.
In this new fangled world where the constraints of page space does not apply it is quite refreshing. God did not bestow everyone with the talents of Salam, and there seem to be many writers on the internet that write like they talk: a lot and without much to say. So its nice to have the point without the reams of run off that usually accompanies it (seems a bit rich coming from the guy writing this eh?).
The site is also advantageous because you can find out who’s being listened to by the people in the know.
It’s not all good though according to some psychology experts quoted in an article in the timesonline. Apparently the whole thing comes from an infantile desire to continually prove we exist stemming from a lack of identity, and that actually all that twitters is not gold (especially when it concerns what the twitterer had for breakfast).
Twitter may not be as revolutionary as the telephone, and indeed may have been replaced by some other ludicrously named self-indulgent software medium in years to come, but it is pushing the boundaries of how we communicate.
It can help develop quasi-personal relationships in a quasi-professional context in the public domain. For those with an established voice it allows them to seem close by. It remains to be seen which newcomers can tweet loud (or interestingly) enough to draw the attention of the media flock.
All in all I grudgingly give my approval to the stupidly named site- I know its six million users will feel a lot better now.