Orlando's picture

    Dear Dag Boys: Please Don't Make Me Tweet

    Dear Dag Boys:

    I am writing to express my concern with a new development that has very recently come to my attention. I am referring, of course, to the invitation for readers to follow Dagblog on Twitter. 

    Being, as I am, ever so slightly behind the curve when it comes to internet advancements, I write to suggest--nay, implore--that you not require your bloggers to in any way engage in this new endeavor.

    I believe that, should you make the tweeting an imperative, I would be able to master the techology. However, I simply do not want to.

    I resisted buying my first cellular phone because I did not want to be availble to callers at any hour and any location. However, I capitulated when I realized how handy a cell phone would be when I wanted to locate friends in the massive crowds at Taste of Chicago.

    I resisted text messaging because I did not see the point of using your phone to write a message when you could dial the phone and communicate that message verbally. However, younger members of my family were able to demonstrate, by texting their friends all day from behind their school books, that text messaging could be a useful tool when I found myself in an incredibly boring meeting.

    But tweeting is where I feel I must draw the line. I cannot, in good faith, share my thoughts on Twitter. It is certainly not that I feel I have nothing to say. As is most likely abundantly clear to you by now, I do not shy away from voicing my opinion on any number of subjects, often times regardless of my grasp of the facts. However, I do not feel that Twitter can offer me the creative space that I need to fully express myself. So, while I am encouraged that Dagblog is evolving, I really must insist to be excused from any and all communication relating to Twitter and tweeting.

    Think of me as Homer. I traffic in the epic. Twitter is text Haiku and I simply refuse to be limited.




    I share your distaste for Twitter. It's a fad technology with no purpose.  This polemic has been brought to you in precisely 140 characters.

    We should revolt. It's all the rage. We'd need a good gimmick though. Preferably one free of double entendre.

    I disagree with the fad comment. For one,, I am aware of this blog because of the very thing you disparage. Second, Twitter represents a delivery mechanism that will continue the evolution of how we manage information.

    I said all this before seeing how thoroughly my fault this is. Ouch. Either way - thanks for letting me be updated by some mindless fad technology.

    While I'm glad you're aware of the blog, the popularity of Twitter is hardly a counterpoint to it being a fad.  I completely disagree that Twitter represents anything resembling the evolution of how we manage information.  In fact, the opposite is true.  The reason is this: From a technology standpoint, Twitter does absolutely nothing new.  To the contrary, its signature feature is an abritrary limitation placed on a technology, the web, that already far exceeds the technology from which it was adopted, namely SMS.  Furthermore, SMS does not even really suffer from this limitation anymore given that every major mobile provider multi-plexes SMS messages.

    How does the SMSification of the web evolve how we manage information?  I haven't a clue.  Twitter does nothing that the web and RSS haven't been doing for quite some time.  However, it has been marketed to the extreme and has a rapidly expanding user base for the time being.  So did AOL, but their technological offerings ultimately represented a shackling of the full power of the Internet.

    A real evolution of the way we manage information would be updating our pitiful wireless infrastructure to match that of Europe or Japan.  Then we could have more of the power of the Internet on our mobile devices instead of SMSifying the web.

    You damn luddites. OK, where are the rest of you? We've got Orlando expressing consternation for her "creative space," others emailing concern about editorial control of Twitter, and DF dismissing the entire technology out of hand. Deadman? Mortimizer? Et tu?

    I apologize for launching the dark specter of Twitter on my suspicious, hidebound fellow dagbloggers without first consulting them, but honestly, I didn't think that it would be a big deal. Please allow me to belatedly explain this whole Twitter development in order to calm your palpitating hearts.

    After reading DF's hilarious report about suspicious, hidebound Republicans teabaggers overreacting to tax hikes, I enthusiastically posted a link to it on my Facebook page. Facebook, for the unfamiliar, is the previous emerging technology that many criticized as pointless, faddish, and destructive to the collective social fabric of the nation. Now that it has moved so far into the mainstream that my technology-phobic mother has embraced it, we've turned our sights on the latest bad boy of Silicon Valley, the evil Mr. Twitter.

    As I was saying, I posted the link on my Facebook page, and a certain virtual friend whom some of you know from TPM as Elliot Ness, commented, "Thanks for passing this along. It gets hard to follow everything I want to on these here internets. Anybody at DagBlog twitter?" Now some may question the value of having virtual friends, and others may question the value of blogs, and those who question the value of one or the other would certainly question the value of sharing blogs with virtual friends especially using insidious technologies like Twitter. But according to my thinking, if Elliot Ness wishes to be informed when Orlando pours words into her creative space, we should surely not deny him.

    So I set up a little Twitter module, which took a few hours because of course it didn't work at first. So now, whenever a dagblogger posts a new article, those who follow us on Twitter, namely Elliot Ness and myself, will receive a little tweet with a link to the article. Thus, we can now use Twitter the same way that we use email, RSS, and other newfangled technologies: to let readers know when we post new material. As I imagined in my innocence that someone other than Elliot Ness and myself may want to be tweeted to dagblog posts, I wrote the above headline that set off the tempest in the twitterpot.

    If, after all this explanation and sarcasm, you still can't bring yourself to be in any way associated with Mr. Twitter, just uncheck the box on the "create blog post" page that says "Announce this post on Twitter," and your post will not be soiled by its vile touch.

    Dude. TMI.

    Sorry. What I meant to write was:

    Just links to new posts. Optional. Chill out.

    Oh, I don't object to using it as a tool for shameless self-promotion.

    There is that too.

    twitter sux. i joined over a year ago because it's my job to know what's going on with newfangled Internet thingamajigs.

    I thought the concept somehow served as a perfect metaphor for our society's almost pathological thirst for fame and its need to share private, largely unimportant details (please refrain from the 'thy name is pot' retorts, I never said I was any different), not to mention its rapidly dwindling attention span and communication skills, and wished to trademark the Twitter Generation, but otherwise had no interest in pursuing the matter further.

    Admittedly Twitter seems great for gossipmongering and on-the-spot news events (it does natural disaster updates very well), I am amazed the thing has taken off like it has, and I do believe it has now reached that magical 'there's no stopping it now' inflection point. we will all be tweeting before long. resistance is futile.

    I'm on it but don't use it. It seems to serve a similar purpose to the facebook status updates--to tell people what you're doing (and find out what they're doing) and to share news and gossip. My last personal status update on FB was 9 months ago. It's just not my thing. But many of my friends love the status updates, and twitter is more mobile than FB. I'm sure that they'll be tweeting away before long.

    Quel timing! Last night, Ashton Kutcher narrowly beat out CNN to become the first Twitter member with 1 million followers.

    Surrounded by his wife, Demi Moore , Soleil Moon Frye and Sean "Diddy" Combs supporting him via phone, the star officially crossed the one million mark, beating out rival CNN Breaking News shortly after 11 PM Pacific time.

    The article neglects to mention new Twitter member dagblog. While dagblog is late to the party, it has attracted approximately two followers in less than 24 hours and could eventually threaten Mr. Kutcher's status.

    Mr Kutcher has taken the challenge in stride. In response to a reporter's question, he replied, "Who's dagdog?"

    even more evidence of the 'resistance is useless. It is useless to resist us' theme - Oprah is about to tweet for the first time. There is no bigger cult leader - tho I must admit no more magnanimous cult leader either - than the Big O.

    Look out Mr. Kutcher. 0 to a million in 60 seconds.

    Oprah seems like a nice lady. Not the person I'd seek cutting-edge technological advice from, though. I recall her telling her audience a few years back about how her computer screen started to go fuzzy, so she called in her "guy from AOL."

    Twitter = Delivery Mechanism

    If you are worried about the twits who use it, you are looking at it incorrectly.

    Twitter will probably find a niche, but its current spike in popularity will be fleeting. Most of what it supposedly does is redundant and distracting. Like a service where you can sign up for spam.

    care to share any examples of similar services?

    Elliott, sweetie?

    You seem a little bit defensive about this whole Twitter issue. Maybe you should blog about it in our Reader Blogs section. It might make you feel better. And the best part is you don't have to worry about expressing yourself in 140 characters. You can ramble on all the live long day. And I promise to give every single word serious consideration.

    A word of advice, though: Don't use the F word. It makes A-man cranky.

    Defensive? I was going for interested. I think the subject is looked at incorrectly. I recently got onto the subject, so perhaps my interest comes across as defensive due to the intensity.

    As for self-aggrandizement through yet another blog... I like the lack of commitment of the comments section.

    Are all F words off limits? So far I have not used the actual F word that I can recall.

    Too much coffee and sleep in one 24 hour period...

    Well, I use the F word all the time, but A-man is wicked fast with the edit pen. Beware the word "trifle." It's a sign that A-man has been running amok with his bar of soap.

    We're using different definitions of "redundant." As I confess one post up, I think having a home phone with voicemail frees me from the obligation to carry a cell phone. Yes, it can be useful when you're meeting up at a restaurant and the traffic or parking is bad, but I'll still take the trade-off in privacy and autonomy.

    not sure where to go on this - you are anti-cell phone because you loose autonomy? Does a ringing phone obligate you?

    There's not much point in lugging the thing around if you're not going to answer it, is there? I resent being reachable 24/7. Maybe I value solitude more than most.

    I don't oppose cells for anyone else; just for me. Though I think phoning while driving is dangerous and should be banned and fined. Above all, motorists who talk on the phone while turning corners should have their cells confiscated, if not their cars. Oh wait, maybe I do really hate cell phones.

    I think that if you ban calling on the phone in the car, then you have to ban talking to other passengers while driving. good luck on that.

    I already have a strict no-talking rule in my car. But mostly it's to keep me from chatting with myself.

    Hey, Mr. No-Cell-Phone, I think that you're allowing your own dislike of the service to affect your rational assessment of its viability. There are many millions of people who find it neither redundant nor distracting. Or rather, they find it distracting in a good way.

    My friends just call me No. Like I said, Twitter will find its niche. Something can be viable but unnecessary. And, not to get all dark and serious, the world is at a stage where we've really got to start thinking about what's necessary.

    Deadman says it well: "Somehow Twitter crossed a line that offended my delicate sensibilities ... " The idea that a million people are actively seeking to know the next 140-word thought that crosses Ashton Kutcher's mind somehow makes me SAD. Not financial-meltdown sad, or Mideast-tension sad, but definitely morose.

    We're burning coal and oil to send those little bits up and down the intertubes. Someone should calculate the energy cost (and the heat gain) of, say, a billion people tweeting at once.

    I should add we're also wasting valuable synapses.

    Sorry, that's "140-character."

    On the contrary. The 140 word limit saves pixels and bandwidth. Just be happy that Kutcher isn't video blogging. That would be an insult to its carbon footprint.

    PS For the record, I highly doubt that Kutcher writes his own tweets.

    And blog comments are...?

    No clue. I don't write my own comments.

    Is this an invitation to Mad Lib?

    You're right, elliott. Blogging, and all the other e-stuff we do, sucks up energy. Of course, we'd otherwise be cruising around in our cars being bored. Or lighting charcoal fires in our backyards. So it evens out a bit.

    I take some comfort that the power I use is is hydroelectric, which is basically renewable solar. So virtually no greenhouse emissions. And I live in a cold climate, so the heat from my computer, TV, etc. serves a dual purpose for much of the year. But yeah, none of us are without eco-sin.


    Let's snicker at the coal-burners for a moment shall we, Acanuck?


    It gets worse. Now their Tweeters are coal-fired.

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