WARNING: This is an untrammelled rant, delivered in the hopes that someone will MAKE me see the light. I just cannot find anything good in Twitter. I really don't think Twitter will remain long on the landscape, and I'm not sure we should be pandering to these mobile-device shackling tactics. Went to Emma Coonan's demo of Twitter in the UL a while ago with an open mind [well, not quite, more like arms-folded, 'Go on then, convince me'] and I'm afraid that didn't work. Poor Andy Priestner sounds almost despairing about trying to explain to unconverted oiks, and has made a great attempt to list its uses, and I'm sorry he's tried a gazillion times.
I'm still unconvinced [Sorry again]. Yes, the requirement to be concise and precise is a boon, but 140 characters reduce almost all of us to a level of brainlessness that is not appropriate. I look at my Twitter page with all its links and re-Tweets and I just .... loathe it. Don't know exactly why it is, but I have to force myself to read down, which is odd because presumably the idea of tweets being short is for people to find them attractive. This extremely adverse reaction is not provoked by the blog feeds, so it's not general info-overload. Perhaps it is because the need for brevity makes a lot of it appear almost meaningless white noise to non-cognoscenti. I don't want to learn another language. It's all back to a dark classroom, circa 1969, double Latin last thing on a Wednesday. 'Right everybody, Caesar's campaigns, page 43, let's crack on, there 600 to go. Crail, for pulling that face, construe until I tell you to stop' Mind goes blank, eyes cease to focus, bottom jaw hangs loose, begin to dribble.... Erm, does not loading it all up with bit.ly links and shortening devices aka dodges and tweaks infer in a way it is already not really 100% working?
On a purely personal level Twitter can be used to communicate, but what can you say? Not much. Unless we want to know that [well known female singer] is bored or feels fat. Should she be sitting at a family lunch tweeting about how bored she is? Should we care about such stuff? Have we nothing better to do than semi-stalk Z-listers? [And if we want to look at Demi Moore's ass, we still have to follow a link elsewhere]. Segueing on from that, we get Derek Simpson telling the world what was going on in the BA/Unite negotiations when as a senior official he should have been participating, or at least paying attention. Twitter made it easy for him to do something totally out of order, and, by the by, to commit another Twitter sin [in my opinion], the 'Am in a meeting/am on a course' tweet - what's the point in telling us that?
At the other end of the spectrum, should I put a 'Follow the library on Twitter' button on the website? 'The UL is open until 10 pm tonight'. Fine - there could be a point, but not for where I work. 'Have just been to an interesting demo of Mendeley'? Darling, they don't CARE - regurgitate it later when they want to know. Tip of the day? In 140 characters? Are you joking? And I'm afraid I can see one student leaning over another student's shoulder and saying 'The LIBRARY!!?? That's a joke, right?'
So we get to the middle ground, where a chink of light briefly hit the retina - the professional/personal interface. The useful tips, links. Fine, great, sometimes helpful, but again - is Twitter really the best forum/format for mutual help?? A blog can be a windbag's delight, and Miss Crail found herself sucked into that quagmire last week [and right now too of course], but we are getting thoughtful, useful insights [from people other than Miss Crail] regarding the Cam23 tasks. Twitter's just an annoying waspy buzz, another thing that makes us sit on our little isolated desert islands, its format actually militating against reaching out to non-believers [part of what we try to do, eh?]. The name flippin' well says it all.
Gawd, I hope I'm not the only person on the programme/in the world who thinks this way. Maybe I'm certifiable....? Please, Andy, don't throw me off the programme