Twitter: verdict pending

typed for your pleasure on 10 October 2008, at 12.40 am

Sdtrk: ‘Lotto’ by Fantastic plastic machine

As is our wont, back on the 27th of last month, Monti and I met up for another dinner — we put away a tidy amount of Japanese food while catching up on each others’ lives — and somehow or other, we got on the topic of Twitter. Now Twitter, if you’re not familiar with it, is a hot & sassy new Internet service that lies somewhere between a chat programme and a blog. Its optimum use is probably in a mobile context; you can use it to basically provide real-time updates to your subscribers (aka, your ‘followers’) as to what shenanigans you’re up at any given moment from your cellphone, and as you’re limited to 140 characters, you’re forced to adhere to the ‘brevity is wit’ ethos. Pretty interesting, all told.
I’d actually known about Twitter for a couple of months — web-savvy sex columnist Violet Blue uses it frequently, as well as R.Stevens of the online comic strip Diesel Sweeties, William Bennett of caustic Noise merchants whitehouse, and countless others. Abe Vigoda periodically sends out a couple of updates a day (known as ‘tweets’) to let people know he’s alive and kicking, which I think is a riot, although I’ve seen a couple of the same messages twice, I’m beginning to think that either he’s a malfunctioning Android, or just extremely forgetful.

When I initially learned of Twitter, it sounded kinda fab, but the one thing that really stopped me from hopping on that train would be the fact that my cellphone plan has a limit on texts, so sending and receiving Tweets would definitely enlarge my phone bill to Biblical proportions. But when Monti mentioned that you can post updates from your browser, I started thinking it was a viable option. So I signed up!
As a social networking site, it’s actually not too offensive… personally, I’d say it’s better than Facebook, and roughly one thousand times better than Myspace, but then, so is being punched in the sternum. But it’s straightforward, which is what I like about it. No flashing .gifs to slow load time, no external applications you have to download; you just write up to 140 characters, hit your Update button, and move on with your life. And then write about that, and hit Update again. However, for my personal use, I see two drawbacks. One: as I can’t use it from my phone, it kinda throws cold water over the ideal situations I’d be using it in. I was having visions of me using it at work (‘In the midst of another pointless monthly meeting, and considering a messy suicide’), or whilst out and about (‘A homeless bloke asked me if I liked Coldplay, so I kicked him. It was no more than he deserved’), or in other contexts (‘The Missus is horny again! Unfortunately, I think we’ve run out of lube’), but unless I want a ten-page phone bill, that’s not an option. Two: so far, I’ve been posting Tweets from my computer proper, but I often wonder if I’m sliding into the realm of the inane. Cos to be honest, it’s either that, or TMI-territory (see the lube reference above). There is, after all, such a thing as too much disclosure. ‘Shouting etc etc’ covers a considerable bit of ground as it is, so how much more does a person need to know? It’s not as if I do a tremendous amount, really — I get together with my friends, I play videogames, I read, I curse my job, I stare at the InfoBahn, I sleep, I have it off with Sidore-chan. Err, sorry, I did it again. Ignore that!

As it is, Twitter’s not a bad application, but is it really necessary for someone like me? I’m not entirely sure. In the meantime, though, it’s not hurting me to have it up there on the sidebar, and if I get sick of it, I’ll simply press the Eject on it. There are worse ways to interact on the Internet, after all

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Alright, I'm bored / WE'RE FUCKED: supplemental on November 5th, 2004

85 things on December 4th, 2006

6 have spoken to “Twitter: verdict pending”

  1. Kat writes:

    The two downsides mentioned are definitly things worth considering. I have a cell phone plan that is decently generous but I tend to save it for when Im on the road or want to send a “picture tweet” out via Ping.fm.

    Honestly re: the TMI. I think that is just like your regular journal. If someone sees it and its TMI, than they can simply choose not to follow you or visit your page. Heck, you can also make your twitter account private (friends only) too so that way you are easily able to moderate who can see that, and remove/add people depending on if they dont like the TMI. I mean, it always boils down to “there are other places to look, so look the other way if there are things you dont want to see.”

    Either way, I have enjoyed following you. Glad you have been able to tolerate my NSFW posts I occasionally make.

    Kat

  2. Laura writes:

    The ‘The Missus is horny again! Unfortunately, I think we’ve run out of lube‘ tweet killed me. I’m still laughing.
    And, jesus, don’t I know the feeling of ‘considering a messy suicide‘ while at work.

  3. PBShelley writes:

    I am as disconnected as I can possibly be. I *think* I’m happier that way (less of “the wired” = more freedom), but without connections I can’t tell for sure :p

    I have a Facebook, but rarely use/look at it, belong to seven forums, but only actively keep up with one (certain Blogs notwithstanding), and rarely use my cell-phone, let alone understand its workings. I Just Say No to MySpace. Trends/hype/fads do not appeal to me in the least, feh!

    But the more I get involved/entangled with The World, the more messy life becomes, and the more Things I Need to Buy. So complicated! I thought it was supposed to be the other way around?

    I’ve never once sent a text message LOL

    Gawd, I must be a Luddite without being aware of it…

  4. PBShelley writes:

    Damn, I can’t edit my previous post? Though I hate to make successive entries, I just had to add this, since it regards your Twitter (why does that sound vaguely obscene?):

    Funny that in it you mention Casshern SINS, because that’s next on my list to check out. But since I’m already following four current Fall series (ef: a tale of melodies, Toradora, To Aru…Index, and Clannad After Story) it’s a bit intimidating to add yet another; I also want to see Kuroshitsuji! I need a little blood, horror, and post-apocalyptic suspense mixed in with my shounen romantic drama/comedies, please… But 43 new series for this season? *choke*

    WHY DO THEY DO THIS???

    FYI, Anime News Network is reviewing the Fall Season if you need assistance choosing which to watch. It is here: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/fall-2008-preview/2008-10-04

    So there 😛

    I know you don’t review anime here, but do let us know when/if you “get” Casshern Sins how you liked it? Robots and adroids and sci-fi, omy! How bad can it be? (<—rhetorical question)

    Ta,
    Us

  5. Davecat writes:

    Kat –
    Admittedly, I don’t understand half of your tweets! They seem to be work-based! Your strange language frightens and confuses me. Nevertheless, I stare at your posts diligently. 🙂

    Re.the ‘Friends Only’ idea: See, making a blog friends only never made any sense to me. It’s kinda like one of the many complaints I have against Facebook, Myspace, and Livejournal — if I can’t read the content of the person’s profile, then frankly, I’m not bothered. As elitist exclusive as I am, I tend to think if a person can’t read a sample of what they’re possibly getting into, then chances are, they’re not going to follow/subscribe/whatever.
    Odhinn knows I’ve lost readers here at ‘Shouting etc etc’, but I’ve no idea why. I’d like to think that they became unstuck in time, and simply can’t get back. 🙂

    Laura –
    You’d be surprised how often our lube stores are depleted! She’s got the sex drive of… a sex doll. 😀
    And remember: ‘Work, what a concept: Ruin your life by having a job; ruin your life by not having a job’.

    PBShelley & LIL-E (horrible, I know. Forgive me) –
    Egad, 43 new serieseses this season? How is anyone who’s not a hikkikomori supposed to keep up with that shit?? I mean, much as I’m against it, you have to leave your home at some point! But then, I think, 43 seems a lot, but what’s the average of fall releases? It seems like maybe 30 new shows come out a year. Honestly, I’m not paying attention. It kinda reminds me of how one year, I wanted to chart how many mainstream Hollywood films come out a year, but I’m sure if I look over teh Internutz, someone’s already done that. Which’ll be fab, as it’ll save me a lot of grief…

    Right now, the latest entries in my ever-expanding To Watch list would be: season 2 of Gundam 00 (a given), Xam’d: lost memories, and Eve no jikan (six episodes, and Gynoid-riffic). Linebarrels of iron looks interesting, and I’m not grabbing Casshern SINS, but Zip Gun, who’s a bigger Casshern fan than I am, is. So we’ll see how that proceeds. *insert line about how I have yet to watch all of Turn A Gundam and Kamen rider 555 here*
    Thanks for the link, though! That’ll save a lot of time!

    And the key to technology is to use it to your advantage, not the other way round, really. I used to be anti-SMS, until I started using it at work to kill time, as well as outside of work for planning get-togethers and whatnot. It all depends on how ‘connected’ you want to be — Facespace and Mybook don’t count, as far as I’m concerned; to me they’re just means to an end. We’ve covered this — but they do have their uses overall.

    Funny thing: I’m on Skype, AIM, ICQ, YIM and MSN, but as you yourself know, I’m busy/invisible all of the time, cos too many people know me, and I’d never get anything done otherwise! LO, GAZE UPON WHAT TECHMOLOGY HATH WROUGHT

    Also, re.editing previous posts: the Preview button is your best friend forever. 🙂

  6. PBShelley writes:

    Ha! Re: LIL-E… didja know that in Ergo Proxy (post-apocalytpic/dystopian sci-fi thriller) the main character is named Rei-l Meyer… but given the pronunciation of the “R/L” in Japanese it sounds very much like “Lil”. Don’t ask me why. Or how lol

    Anyway. I have yet to see Xam’d but hear it is quite good, so I’ll look for it. I need a little mech-oid action mixed in with my “other stuff”.

    One Fall series that caught my eye was Kannagi… when I saw the words “modern-day Pygmalion” in the review I immediately grabbed it LOL It might not be your cup-o-tea (guy carves a wooden statue from a sacred tree that then comes to life; hijax ensue as you might imagine) but it is cute.

    Casshern looks pretty dark and cool at the same time but stay tuned… quite Geass-like in look, but not feel. I’m going to keep watching it 😉

    Anyway, not wanting to put your readers to sleep, so oyasumi nasai 😀

    P.S.: Ya know that “mysterious disappeared post” I mentioned awhile back via PM? Well… and this relates to your “Preview” comment above… APPARENTLY I *had* pressed the preview post button assuming it was then posted. BUT IT WASN’T!

    It does pay to pay attention, doesn’t it? :p

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