What’s Going On Now: Twitter

It’s around 10:15 a.m. ET and my morning’s thoroughly disrupted: Twitter’s down.  I’ve tried multiple times here at the office, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not my ancient computer trying to mess with my sanity, but Twitter’s fault entirely.

Now, Twitter is an interesting part of the media landscape; everyone spends their time either mocking its existence, or naively twittering with only the vaguest idea of its meaning. Personally, I find Twitter highly entertaining.  It’s as entertaining as this blog, in fact, but even more so because it’s quicker and requires far less thought.  Instead of constructing entire thoughts and paragraphs, I can type up short, mindless blurbs about my day.  English degree not required!

Of course, when people question me about my own twittering habits, I try to explain but I inevitably run into a wall.  At some point, the rumor was that Twitter was merely a way to advertise what you had for breakfast: “Toast was good. Grape jelly made it even better.”  With such ridiculous foundations, how useful could it really be?  What the naysayers don’t see is that Twitter is an excellent way to aggregate news.  Don’t even worry about tweeting yourself—just follow the New York Times, CNN, NPR and any other brand of news you enjoy, and presto!  Your Twitter “home” page is an aggregation of that morning’s top headlines and more.  For news junkies, that means fewer trips to individual websites, and a general sense of what’s going on in the world before you even hit NYT.com.

Of course, I also enjoy reading my friends’ status updates (which is what they truly are, Facebook fans).  Most people do NOT report what they had for breakfast (unless that piece of toast can fly).  Twitter users are just as cognizant of the ridiculous and newsworthy.  In fact, most of my Twitter friends are fellow journalists, young marketing professionals and my publishing friends—all educated media consumers who know what’s interesting and marketable (all these social media sites are just ways to market yourself), and what’s plain silly.  It’s also important to point out that those on Twitter are aware of the information posted there, and sign up with this knowledge.  If you are freaked out by the insane amount of self-sharing, it’s just as easy to stay away.

So yes, I’m quite distraught that Twitter is down. Of course, this gives me more time to start on real work (although waiting for calls is understandably boring), but I hope it returns in time.

In other news, expect a post later today about starting a new book.  I want these posts to be categorized in some fashion, and have some semblance of regularity.  As part of this blog involves books, it’s imperative that I update my readers on the state of my reading life. Hint: I’m starting on the last leg of a great journey, and even though I’ve walked these paths before, I’m sad to see the end.

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