Sunday, June 7, 2009

Mr. Subjunctive: now on Twitter! (But why?)

I don't really understand why people use Twitter, or why I should, and it actually seems kinda impossible for me to write anything under 140 characters, but I'm going to try it anyway. I'm on as @mrsubjunctive. I don't understand why I have to put the @ first. I'm also unclear about the #s everywhere. There is much to learn. It may not even be worth it to learn. I dunno. Nevertheless, here we go.


14 comments:

Laura Livengood Schaub said...

The reason you are on Twitter, Mr. Subjunctive, is about to become very apparent. Mr. Brown Thumb just outed you to nearly 800 followers, a good portion of whom will be visiting your blog and/or following your tweets. Best way to advertise blog posts, IMHO...welcome! Now, entertain us! @InterLeafer

mr_subjunctive said...

That's an awful lot of pressure to lay on a guy.

Kenneth Moore said...

Hm... I hope you don't get the twittingbug. That's somewhere I refuse to go, and I'd miss your posts. (I don't even have Facebook or Myspace, so I'm surprised I even follow blogs, but twitter just seems way too ADD for me.)

mr_subjunctive said...

Well, I promise nothing, but I'm fairly certain that the blog will remain daily (once it gets back to being daily, that is) and primary. Twitter is, in some ways, more instant-gratification than blogging, but the 140-character limitation is frustrating. Hopefully I'll be able to strike a reasonable balance between the two.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Twitter is more instantly gratifying? So blogging is like making love, then? Look, I don't understand why people are twits, I mean, why people tweet. I could care less about what shoes you're wearing today, that you spilled some oj, or that you just got back from the bathroom. Unless you spilled oj while tying your shoes while using the bathroom.

mr_subjunctive said...

Well, I didn't get it either, prior to doing it. I'm not sure I get it entirely now, either, now that I have done it, but of course it doesn't have to be about spilling OJ. You could (and people have) write out Moby-Dick in 140-character installments. You could only use it to announce new blog posts. Saying it's silly to tweet because nobody cares about your spilled OJ is sort of like saying that it's dumb to write poetry because nobody in real life speaks in couplets: it's a very limited view of what the form is capable of. And it is just a form. Content's up to you.

Not saying that it's going to turn out to be the best thing ever in my life, or even that I entirely get it. But enough other people, whom I respect, find it worth their time that I figure I may as well try it out.

Are you always this curmudgeony, BV? If yes, why has it taken me so long to notice?

sheila said...

Let me now when you figure out why we're on there, or even how to work the damn thing. I am on facebook, now that makes some sense to me. I was going to do a blog, but yours is way more entertaining and better-researched than I would ever do.

mr_subjunctive said...

Yeah, now see Facebook / MySpace / Livejournal -- those are the ones that don't make any sense to me. I get the impression that there's a lot of friend-collecting and not much else, based on the pages I've wound up on before. Though I've never tried it, so maybe it does things I can't do with the blog.

One new networking site at a time, though. Between e-mail and statcounter and the 75-80 blogs I follow and Blotanical and Garden Web (not commenting much, but still reading), I spend enough time on-line already. And now Twitter. We'll see how things go.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Very curmudgeony. That's why people like me. :) Maybe this whole Twitter thing bugs me precisely because it is another diversion, and one that further diminishes what is communicated, what lasts. It is quick and easy, which defines too much of who we are becoming. I don't speak in couplets, and if I heard someone doing so I'd call the doctors, but maybe a few lines of iambic pentameter might stretch out our ideas and thoughts, and in turn, help us communicate more meaningfully to each other as we discover something deeper? I feel like I'm on a soapbox, so I'll get down and cower.

mr_subjunctive said...

No! Stay and argue! That's why we like you! :)

Objecting to "quick and easy" communication, that "diminishes what is communicated" and what "lasts" would apply equally well, in their respective time periods, to the telephone, television, radio, and telegraph. And I'm fairly certain that someone made this objection at each of those points, too. But c'mon. 90% of casual face to face communication isn't lasting, meaningful stuff either. You're not really arguing that the best method for people to talk to one another is via Pony Express, are you?

I'm not saying that it's better just because it's faster. I'm saying that most communication is ephemeral and trivial, and that that's been the normal state of affairs for centuries, and I don't see Twitter or the other networking sites significantly changing this.

So far, the main application of Twitter that seems like an improvement on what was already present is: if I had an urgent message that I needed to communicate to large numbers of people all at once (i.e., "tsunami coming to Miami Beach area around 7:50 PM; evacuate immediately"), Twitter is how I would do it.

Benjamin Vogt said...

I am in full retreat. Look, I hate Twitter. I always will. I'd use the thing if I had to find another way to, say, market a book, but as you said in another comment I also can't keep up with Facebook (which is more than a friend collector) and blogs and emails and statcounter and.... I feel torn in too many directions. So maybe I DO what the anticipation and the travel--and travails--of the Pony Express. Maybe I sorta liked that post WWIII Kevin Costner film. Look at me, wasting my time with YOU of all people on this mind-sucking internet that runs too slow anyway!! :)

Kenneth Moore said...

Hm. LoL I wrote this big long comment/rant/thing... Basically, it's hard for me to separate the "social networking" label from the reality of facebook and twitter and such sites. If they were truly social, y'know, it'd be fine. But since they're not, I have no use for them, and it just frustrates me. I'd rather be writing a letter, calling a friend, flying somewhere for vacation, playing frisbee, or grabbing a cup of coffee with a friend, instead of reading people's tweets all the time.

Blogs? They're different. The ones I follow are at least somewhat educational.

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

Cuz Nola said too, sorry not to many deep thoughts here. It is just fun. happy happy fun times

Patrick M~ said...

(the # is a way of tagging your tweet such that it is searchable by a specific topic/meme, so if you're at the Excessive Microwave Ownership Convention, you might say "I just spilled my orange juice #exmicowncon" and by tacit agreement everyone else at the convention tags theirs the same way, so you can search for just #exmicowncon and see what's going on with the other guy attending the conference)

(maybe you figured that out)