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Twhat the twuck? - The online computery journal thingy of a turtle

May. 26th, 2009

05:24 pm - Twhat the twuck?

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Some people think Twitter is stupid. But why is it that criticism or mockery of Twitter always seems much stupider?

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From:cnoocy
Date:May 26th, 2009 10:37 pm (UTC)
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I'm not sure it's logically sound to generalize outward from B.C. being stupid about something.
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:May 26th, 2009 10:40 pm (UTC)
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I'm not. I'm just using it as a garish illustration. Actually, most criticism I've seen tends to be along the lines of "Why do so many people use Twitter? I don't understand what it's for, therefore it must be stupid."
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From:melskunk
Date:May 26th, 2009 10:57 pm (UTC)
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Which was pretty much the jokes about MySpace 5 years ago
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From:orv
Date:May 27th, 2009 01:52 am (UTC)
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And LiveJournal ten years ago.
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From:thecanuckguy
Date:May 28th, 2009 03:43 am (UTC)
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Except for the "therefore it must be stupid" part I still feel that way. But, mleh, if you leave me alone with Twitter, I'll be OK.

Speaking as a comedian, though, (and comic strip artists are just our bastard cousins, so this applies to them, too), the cardinal rule of comedy is "know your audience". There are enough people who read BC to think that way - and if you think of the average age of BC readers (born when the strips events took place), it's like shooting fish in a barrel. You wouldn't make the same jokes about Twitter in a room full of young people, or a Twitter stock holders event, or maybe you would, if you feel they can take a jab at themselves, and laugh at the "yeah, that's what the "outsiders" think of us all right! Ha, ha!"
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From:darksasami
Date:May 26th, 2009 10:56 pm (UTC)
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Wait, you're saying that mocking text messages and IRC is a bad thing?
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From:darksasami
Date:May 27th, 2009 01:02 am (UTC)
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I have a friend who has a new boyfriend, with whom things are apparently going very well. There was a bit of a snag, though; they kept texting each other all day, getting into fights, calling each other up, screaming, then making up and getting over it. Last Saturday they finally figured out that it was simply the limitations of the text-message medium that was causing them to miscommunicate with every lol and l8r, and they banned texting from their accepted means of communicating with each other. They haven't had a major fight since. (Mind you, give them a couple of days; they're bound to find something.)

If that doesn't call for a bit of mockery, I would very much like to know what does.
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:May 27th, 2009 02:32 am (UTC)
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That's a specific case history, though.
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From:svashtar
Date:May 26th, 2009 10:57 pm (UTC)
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The problem I see with Twitter is it tends to make people lazy. A number of people have simply stopped writing, in favor of sending out one sentence updates about every little thing in their lives.

A case in point: one friend of mine twitters when her kid has a bowel movement, how much her cat ate, and about general TMI stuff nobody gives two shits for.

I've no doubt Twitter serves some useful purpose, but I've yet to figure it out. As far as I've seen, it's contributing to the death of the written word.

Texts are fine. I like getting them. ON MY PHONE. I have no desire to receive a billion twats from twits all day. If you have something useful to tell me, call, write something in your journal, or send me (and only me) a text.

I'm also one of those people who hates mass texts.
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:May 26th, 2009 11:01 pm (UTC)
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That's a valid criticism. But too many people are lazy about criticising it as well, and just basically write off the entire user base as a bunch of complete morons. And that I simply cannot abide, even though I myself don't even use the service!
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From:svashtar
Date:May 26th, 2009 11:06 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, lazy about criticizing twitter I am not. I not only rant long and hard about it, but I mock it with twitter-like posts just to infuriate those who would potentially be butthurt about such things.

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From:kinkyturtle
Date:May 26th, 2009 11:05 pm (UTC)
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Anyway, my main point is that too many people try to be all clever and witty when criticising Twitter, but they just end up being unfunny and annoying.
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From:vakkotaur
Date:May 27th, 2009 01:18 am (UTC)
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So far the best real use I've seen for Twitter, beyond simple amusement (e.g. sockington) is as a backup communications channel for a web site to let users know that, yes, they know the system seems to be down and they are indeed working on it.
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From:orv
Date:May 27th, 2009 01:54 am (UTC)
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That makes sense. I routinely use text messaging for getting automated alerts to tell me that, say, the server room is too hot. The sort of stuff people used to use alphanumeric pagers for.
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:May 26th, 2009 11:22 pm (UTC)
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I could, but I don't wanna.
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From:michaelmink
Date:May 27th, 2009 01:27 am (UTC)
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Ironically, the Wall Street Journal had a piece today about how the parent company of Twitter is having difficulties generating revenue from the massive traffic the site is generating; they still haven't come up with a coherent business model, which is why the company has yet to go public.
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From:orv
Date:May 27th, 2009 01:47 am (UTC)
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Twitter is a classic Underpants Gnome business model. Which is interesting, because I thought those went out of style in roughly 1998.
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From:deckardcanine
Date:May 27th, 2009 02:48 pm (UTC)
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Styles do have a habit of returning for no easily discernible reason.
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From:yakko
Date:May 27th, 2009 01:50 am (UTC)
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So it'll take Twitter a little longer than other websites to be supported by ads (however unoriginal Twitter's masters say that is, but it does pay the bills).
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From:orv
Date:May 27th, 2009 01:55 am (UTC)
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The question is, how do you do ads on a site that people primarily interact with via SMS? No one's going to stand for the sending spam to their phone.
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From:yakko
Date:May 27th, 2009 03:49 am (UTC)
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Oops, that's right... especially considering some of us pay for each SMS received.
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From:orv
Date:May 27th, 2009 01:50 am (UTC)
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Because the people who are mocking it, deep down, are afraid that they don't get it because they're out of touch. Declaring it to be stupid is a defensive move.

I admit I don't quite "get" Twitter, but I'm not a very social person. If I were looking for a way to find out what my local friends were up to so I could hook up with them, it'd make a lot of sense.
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From:toonygal
Date:May 27th, 2009 05:25 am (UTC)
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Here comes the Thnikkama~an!
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:May 27th, 2009 09:46 am (UTC)
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Ohhh, it's the Thnikkaman! No time to put on these pants now!

[dashes off]
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From:cnoocy
Date:May 27th, 2009 10:56 am (UTC)
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And of course Tatsuya Ishida shows us how it's done.
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From:deckardcanine
Date:May 27th, 2009 02:49 pm (UTC)
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I don't see that as a mockery of Twitter so much as a quirky application of it.
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From:deckardcanine
Date:May 27th, 2009 02:58 pm (UTC)
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Just about any old comic, even one that's changed hands so the writer isn't over 60, gets pathetic when it takes on modern technology. Earlier this month, Dagwood in "Blondie" observed Elmo and his friends playing "text-and-seek," which is simply hide-and-seek except that the counting is done in text messages instead of out loud.

"Doonesbury" has done a little better lately, with Roland Hedley all but forgoing his TV reporting duties because of his Twitter base. Still gets tiresome fast.

I do think that Twitter is annoying, from what little exposure I've had. You must have seen when Cake Wrecks presented that style a few days ago. Even I don't have that short an attention span.
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