No one you know is interested in it. Your life is admirably succulent without it. Out of curiosity you inspect the main site – perhaps register an empty account – but there are no meaningful clues of any worth. You pull up a few random feeds, and stare blankly at the torrent of worthless bilge.
- At worst, for the passive user, it’s a cheap way to
stalkfeel close to a miniscule set of tech-savvy C-list celebrities.
- At worst, for the active but pioneering microblogger, it’s a dispiriting void in which to fruitlessly drain your creative juice.
- The real value only emerges – in a similar way to ‘real’ blogging – when a number of your own friends choose to take part, and you have a mutually interested audience.
I know. Microblogging is an ugly word but an old concept. It essentially means, lower your expectations. The nuggets here are, for the most part, throwaway comments. Or ideas without time to be developed. Think back to the early days of TF, when a youtube URL and a few acronyms (hmm, to LOL or not to LOL?) constituted a well-crafted post.
Twitter fills the yawning gap of time between TF posts. Sometimes you really do just have a sentence or two to say, and it’s worth ten seconds of someone else’s time.
Look, pussbook does this already
Kind of. Status updates get lost in a sea of sparkly froth. You’ve got hundreds of friends. You only really care about the daily spewings of a small subset.
So, this voyeurism angle. Who could I possibly care to read about?
Good question. As an example, let’s see whose lives I now peer into with freakish ease:
- Stephen Fry. Creatively foul-mouthed and always entertaining. Loves twitter like he loves a generous coating of man-butter
- Kristin Hersh
- Mike Skinner. Pithy and creative
- Russell Brand. Just getting into it
- Jonathan Ross. Loving the attention and ability to disseminate gossip
- Regina Spektor
- Warren Ellis. Bad-brained and darkly funny writer of comics. Best quote on experiencing a hangover, “I appear to have woken up in Stephen Hawking’s body.”
- Neil Gaiman. Avid user
There’s a *nnrgh* reality TV aspect to this. I don’t truly benefit from knowing the details of Stephen Fry’s travels in New Zealand, or the hourly updates on the health of Neil Gaiman’s dog. It’s compelling nonetheless.
The word ‘twitter’ accurately skewers the banality of the medium. But banal events in the lives of those people you care about are important; they’re the fodder of conversations you aren’t having. With enough fleeting glimpses into someone’s life, you feel closer, wherever they are.
You can follow me, and the reliably deviant ms.bean. If you don’t have a twitter-ready telephone – which you will need to get the real addiction – you can also catch my dribbles just on the left there.