12 December 2010

Shouting in a Bucket Blues

I have a lot to smile to myself about at the moment, but Twitter has given me one that needs to be shared. An account that I administer: I had a few requests to follow it, which I granted, and politely (I believe it's the done thing) followed them back. One of them a philospher ... a real living, breathing, thinking philosopher - and he replied:
So you're following me... and I'm following you? Does anyone know where we're going? Never mind, let's enjoy the journey for a while...
Twitter came up in conversation several times yesterday at the Writers in Oxford Christmas party. Why use it? One of our colleagues in that organisation has done fantastic politically important work with it, but I know of only that one example. A series of Tweets yesterday involving two of my friends mystified me, and my Social Media guru explained that it's all about the number of mentions one gets (or, more importantly, gives) - Twitter Juice, I guess, like Google Juice. The ultimate triumph of media over message, then. It doesn't matter what I put in the Tweet so long as it mentions @someone. I now understand - within its limitations - what #ff is all about. A formula guaranteed to create far more traffic than one can ever read? Just a numbers game?

At least when someone asks me what Twitter is for, I now have the perfect philosphical answer. Perhaps I'm wrong to call it futility, and I am indeed enjoying the journey - enjoying a few journeys at present, wondering where I'm going ... not a bad state of mind.

Some beautiful and poignant turns of phrase in this great song ...

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