A few weeks ago I wrote about seeing Geoff Manaugh speak. I noted Geoff’s excellent defense of Twitter as a medium and utter confusion at its critics. Jason Kottke’s In defense of Twitter published today with a link to Manaugh’s own post both carry on in that great tradition of incredulity to the contention that Twitter necessarily leads to the end of civilization.
Both articles were responses to Maureen Dowd’s facetious and ridiculous article in the New York Times, where she rudely insisted the interviewees only respond in 140 characters or less and then when they slipped she exclaimed:
“(They’re spilling past 140 characters now, but it must feel good to climb out of their Twitter bird cage…)”
She went on to ask the co-founder and creative director Biz Stone:
“Was there anything in your childhood that led you to want to destroy civilization as we know it?”
I’m not one to shy away from calling it like it is. Twitter can be abused and I’ve never claimed to be its biggest fan, but it’s getting to the point where it’s being so consistently bashed that people may turn to it as a kind of rebellion.
I think Biz himself says it best (while enduring the bashing in good humor):
“If people are passionate about your product, whether it’s because they’re hating or loving it, those are both good scenarios.”
Spreadtweet is a Twitter application that mimics the design of a spreadsheet. My first reaction was “whahuh? Why?” Then I realized that unlike most of the rest of the civilized world I do not work in an office full of prying eyes.
So for all you wage-slaves in your cubes; a way to tweet while leaving your boss none-the-wiser.
(via Design Tips + Tricks)
Just back from the Geoff Manaugh talk @SVA, “Designing the Post-Terrestrial”. Great stuff. Oddly enough I found it a very visceral experience. Not necessarily what I was expecting from a lecture on architecture.
BLDGBLOG, Manaugh’s blog on architecture and design, is clearly intelligent and well written and there’s a sense of wonder when reading some of the articles. In person Manaugh revealed a kind of exuberance when discussing hidden burial structures found accidently by tractors or on purpose by muons, the possibilities of a tour bus with ground penetrating radar like a glass bottomed boat and ancient Native American hills being incorporated into golf courses. His allusions to fantasy/sci fi and gaming culture made the weight of his material less heady and more fantastical. More than once he made a reference to Blade Runner.
Aside from his excellent discussion on post terrestialization (essentially architecture that passes for earth or is the earth), however, Manaugh did take a few minutes to argue passionately as a blogger. He quoted a interlocutor as saying (I’m paraphrasing) “Twitter is the end of civilization.” Manaugh stated (again paraphrasing) “I don’t understand that. Blogging and Twitter are just like a ball point pen. You can write a poem or a ransom note or anything your mind can come up with.”
Perhaps saying that I enjoyed that part of the lecture immediately upon meeting him did make it seem as though I wasn’t paying as close of attention to the bulk of the content. But as with seeing any writer speak what was interesting was getting a glimpse of his personality, which as with most of us in the blogosphere tinges on the nerdy but cool.
This is too priceless. Just oodles of lulz.
I find myself at a loss whenever confronted with the task of having to define Twitter. It’s one of those things that’s everywhere and nowhere. I am never really shocked when someone knows about it. Nor does it surprise me when I find out a friend from high school tweets every single aspect of their day (e.g. “showering now”).
As hard to define as it is for me, Urban Dictionary seems to be equally– shall we say twitter-pated?
While the first definition on Urban Dictionary seems straightforwardly banal, almost as if it were lifted directly from the Twitter Website. Immediately following are some pretty bizarre and hilarious definitions ala number 2:
My personal favorite is Number 7:
“A favorite pillow that lacks definition and firmness. Any pillow that is limp, or has feathers flying out of it.”
I’m curious as to whether these alternative definitions came before the micro-blogging service or after. Taken as commentary they can be a little biting. I know, when I lie in bed for my last tweet of the night, I always think of Twitter as a one of my favorite pillows, though when I awake in the morning, it’s given me a headache.
I’m sort of surprised by how many words on the list I recognize since they all seem to have a slant towards various subcultures. Unfortunately the article also has pointed me towards yet another podcast to subscribe to.. sigh.. information overload.
For reasons I cannot go into at this time I have been advising over the course of the pass several weeks a person older than myself in the ways us younger people (can I still claim that?) use social networks. Most specifically we’ve been looking at Facebook and Twitter.
I’ve been hesitant in my advice for a few reasons: 1. I am basing my lessons purely on my own personal observations with no real outside citations and 2. I have had at length conversations with others my age (I’m 28) about how we don’t fully understand how people who are younger than us use these resources.
However, in thinking about these things I have just proven correct one of my tenets of social web sites. I had been telling my tutee that Facebook is more casual and merely an extension of real-world relationships and twitter is a bit edgier in that it does not rely on approval for connections to be made. Instead Twitter is less about friendship and more about reputation. Browsing around the web today I just discovered some evidence which seems to prove me correct.
I just read an article from Kottke.org about Facebook and Twitter and decided to look Jason Kottke up on both networks. Given Jason’s status as an internet celebrity it’s not surprising he has a large number of Twitter followers (nearly 10,000 as of this writing). A glance at his Facebook page is quite a contrast, however. He has a mere 13 friends. Interestingly he does have a public profile meaning that anyone can browse through a large amount of info on him — that’s something for a separate post.
This probably comes as no surprise to anyone who regularly uses both forums but given that I have been teaching someone social etiquette on these sites it’s nice to have outside verification of my assumptions. I wonder if anyone has done a comprehensive book on how people use Web 2.0. I suspect that it would be outdated shortly after writing it. Until then we’ll have to live with Internet Party as a singular source on the topic.
- would anyone be interested in housing a biking guy on a cross country trip for one night? #
- the biker guy in questions is blogging about it @ http://lafixed.com/ [http://lafixed.com/] #
- @steventartick heard of this? http://twitpic.com/ [http://twitpic.com/] #
- @steventatick I suppose you have since it has built in twirl support #
[link] a guy had a bad experience with Best Buy… twittered about it and then ended up getting a call from a company representative.
- holy cow! I finally understand how to use CSS instead of tables!!! #