Don't waste time or time will waste you (phyxius) wrote,
Don't waste time or time will waste you

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Anyone who doesn't "get" Twitter seems to focus on the egotism and boringness of the possible answers to the question "what are you doing?", which is how Twitter frames itself. And they're right. But the most interesting tweets on my stream dont answer that question. More often, they answer "what's on your mind right now?". Twitter is valuable for its ability to spread information to lots of people immediately. Any information. Memes, links, videos, news, spontaneous gatherings online and off, etc.

Regarding the issue of politicians twittering during Obama's speech, lots of journalists are framing it as if that makes them as bad as gossipy schoolkids. Twittering politicians is not a bad thing. The spontaneous, and succinct nature of tweets reveals a side of a person you do not get any other way. You get a certain honesty, or at least a feel for their personality on a day-to-day level (there are exceptions). You get the Republican who recommended people watch a basketball game if they didn't want to "watch Pelosi smirk for the next hour", and you get Claire McCaskill reporting on the new Health and Human Services secretary, saying she'll "be terrific", minutes after it's announced. These are their unfiltered opinions of an event as it happens. No filter, no delay. How is that a bad thing?

Twitter's not just useful politically. As I said, it spreads any information. Patrick Norton tweets one of my flickr photos and I get 7200 views in one day. Kevin Rose (and others) regularly brings down websites by sending thousands of followers to a page all at once. Veronica has an interview in twenty minutes, so she asks for interview question ideas and has plenty of material in no time.

The list goes on. It's ironic that twitter's usefulness can't be properly summed up in 140 characters. At least, I havent seen it. And twitter's not helping itself any, but that's another blog entry.

Sen. Claire McCaskill tweeted it best: "Those naysayers bout twitter don't get it. It's all about communication. Communication is always a good thing especially in my job."

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