Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Twitter!: David Gregory's Ham Sandwich & Beyond

I finally found a little island of the 'net that the majority of my kids were unfamiliar with.

A while back, I had registered with Twitter but hadn't used it with any frequency, and then forgot my log in and password. The other night, during my evening MSNBC fix, Keith Olbermann and Washington journalist Craig Crawford were discussing Twitter. Actually, they were trying to get their arms around this site, and it devolved into a funny exchange about NBC newsman David Gregory's tweet that he had eaten a bagel that day.

Since I have been blogging for awhile, I decided to see what it was all about. I am only "following" a handful of Washington journalists and writers of interest to me at the moment. I have "zippo" followers of my own. It is a Peculiar Literary Form. I tend to be verbose. I am not sure if my personal writing style evolved from my business writing or vice versa. More likely, they "co-evolved" to use a Gregory Bateson & Stewart Brand term. But the 140 word limit Twitter offers, ("What are you doing NOW ?") seems a charming little challenge. It's a little like La Disparition ("The Disappearance"), called "A Void" in its English translation, the 300 page French lipogrammatic novel, written in 1969 by Georges Perec, without the letter "e". Does a Tweet have to be interesting ? Or is it just a very brief online journal ? What is interesting, anyway ? Does it matter if David Gregory ate a ham sandwich that day ? Steven Berlin Johnson is on Stephen Colbert. Is it marketing or just crumbs from the table of celebrity and neo-celebrities ? Is there any long-term future for an application that is really midway between an expansive social networking site like Facebook, or a detailed blog, and a simple text message with a really long "cc:" function ? Well, it is still fun to explore and we will see where this goes. I stopped midway through making dinner to send a tweet question to 1600, David Shuster's news program on MSNBC. But it is a cool adjunct to other media and 'net forms. For instance, it was cool to send the Tweet and then wait to see if my question was going to be used on the show. (It wasn't.) As I went back into the kitchen to finish compiling The Big Salad, I found myself intoning, or actually chirping, much to the annoyance of my 14 year old daughters, "Twitter! Twitter! TWITTER!"

Twitter me at: http://twitter.com/Brooklyn_Beat

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Current Reading

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