Some disdain micro-blogging site Twitter, launched in 2006 [!], for the glib shallowness that can result from the site's enforced brevity. A lot of those critiques of the limitations of 140 charter tweets ring true but yet still the site's reach grows. So, in the interest of moving past disdain and into qualified acceptance, I present my take on Twitter:
1. It's chaotic
As someone said, the signal to noise ratio on Twitter is insane. Between the links to worthwhile articles, musical minutiae and little chiseled jewels of snark there is an endless stream of inanity. So, as a wheat-chaff separator, it's pretty porous, unlike, say Google Reader (R.I.P.). This problem can be minimized, of course, by simply not following (or unfollowing) the Twitter twits.
2. It's partisan
After I followed the hilarious ant-Republican LOLGOP and a few like-minded sorts my feed quickly suffered epistemic closure. To counteract the onslaught of snappy, pre-digested soundbites, I added Matt Lewis, Ross Douhat, Ramesh Ponnuru and some American Conservative columnists to keep the mental door ajar.
3. It's direct
Between followers, hashtags, @usernames, favorites (sic) and re-tweets you're more likely to come into direct contact with the people you're writing about than anywhere else. This can lead to a leveled, more democratic discourse or it can lead to petty back-biting but that's somewhere between a glitch and a feature.
4. It's addictive.
Despite the wide array of shallow tweeters, there's still a slew of people with things to say and links to share. So, whether its' columnists who never sleep like Matt Yglesias, curious curators like Eric Alper, forgotten bands on the re-rise like Death, Twitter-critics like JADEDPUNKHULK, political activists like ShitHarperDid there is always something going on...
Until the next platform comes along to re-wire/fuck-up our methods of communication, Twitter still holds much in the way of possibilities. Come check out what I do (yes, Twitter is also heavy on self-promotion) and hopefully I'll give you some good things to read, hear and see.
IF YOU'RE A READER HERE, PLEASE FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER!