Twitter is a site where users post 140-character messages that are distributed to groups of people/users who follow their every post… they’re known as “followers”. The service allows users to “tweet” (post) as well as “follow” other Twitterers.
http://twitter.com/boboleechron is where you’ll find me… and I’m just getting my “sea legs” around the service.
I first got introduced to Twitter during my daily tech readings a few years ago. Then Keith, a friend and fellow blogger of mine, started using it. I didn’t seem to think I had the time or the “content” to start a “microblog”.
The recent race to a million Twitter followers between CNN and Ashton Kutcher (aplusk) got my attention… as did the fact that Oprah Winfrey became the latest celebrity to join the service. Kutcher said that:
“I found it astonishing that one person can actually have as big of a voice online as what an entire media company can on Twitter,” Kutcher says in a video, which was shot from inside a car and was posted on Qik.com.
“So I just thought that was just kind of an amazing comment on the state of our media, and I said that, if I beat CNN to 1 million viewers, then I would ding-dong ditch Ted Turner — because I don’t think it’s gonna happen.”
My first thought was that he was right… Twitter is a great equalizer for the masses. The people now have the means to reach others and to spread their versions of the real story.
Then I started to think again… just who is Ashton Kutcher? Besides the fact that he’s an actor and the husband of a famous actress, who is he? Why would a million people choose to get their “news” from @aplusk as opposed to CNN? In a sense, his winning the race to a million followers is symptomatic of the problem being faced by all media carriers, especially the traditional press: the masses are no longer interesting in reading yesterday’s news. Advances in communications and internet technologies are blurring the dividing lines between us all. The global village is now, and we’re all sitting in the same cafe with the same access to the same gossip about what “Mary” got herself into last night… as soon as she updates her online status.
I read online that some view this race to a million as further proof of the dumbing down of America, and by extension, the globe. I disagree. A million people wanting to find out more about what Ashton and Demi wore to lunch as opposed to wanting to hear more about the economic plans of the Obama administration isn’t dumb…
No, I don’t think its dumb at all. Its escapist. Life today is stressful. People have lost their houses, their jobs, their live savings… its getting harder to afford the basics for most of us as our salaries stay the same or go kaput whilst prices skyrocket. The comings and goings of celebrities help people tune out of the world for awhile… put a smile or a smirk on a few faces everyday… entertainment. Besides which, why buy the newspaper cow when the information milk is free? 😆
I hope, if anything, that I get to interact with more of you folks… and even make a few more friends via Twitter. I’m a later adopter by nature when it comes to technology… I know someone always comes along with something better, faster and stronger on short notice. Feel free to follow my feed and to post your own in the comments, if you wish. I promise not to be a spammer, and not to tweet (or retweet) crap!
Peace and Rice,