Here’s a story about the need for constant innovation in online journalism. I’ve been going to a lot of “New Media” meetings at work lately, and see that I, too, am a mere leaf in the new media whirlpool. But a few months ago I deleted my fledgling Facebook account. I don’t get much out of Facebook’s bland, pre-programmed playground, and prefer any online interactions (such as they are) in the more free-form blog-and-comment world, where conversation can stretch out. I have to be back on Facebook now for work purposes.

Twitter is easier for me to grasp, so I’ve now tentatively become a Twit. It’s an interesting potential way to promote one’s blog or to make quick observations from the field — although discussing what you just ate is still bad material in any medium. (My phone is too primitive to allow to me to receive others’ Twitter messages, though, so for now I have to be content to blindly broadcast stuff into the atmosphere.)

And if Twitter’s not frivolous enough for you, there’s always Plurk, a stripped-down (!) version of Twitter. (“Plurk is for everyone. We’ve taken the time, the complexity, and the deep introspection required out of blogging.”) I think I’ll pass on that one.

All this technology might be easy to adopt if you are surrounded by a homogenous population that avidly uses it. Maybe in California it’s easy, but in CNY you must take a different path if you want to reach everyone, instead of just pretending that you do. I live in a neighborhood where the population tends to be older and even computer-free, and if you need to communicate with them, “cool tools” like Twitter or even Google Maps won’t get the job done. You have to use the phone or perhaps go door-to-door. The various revolutions we have going on in America today don’t seem to include these “un-wired” people. One has to stretch oneself to accommodate them, or run the risk of turning into a people-forgetter.

And on that note, please read this outstanding post at CNY Snakepit.

2 thoughts on “Iterations

  1. Brian Cubbison

    You can receive Twitter messages via the Web, which is mostly what I do. I’m not really into answering the phone every time the world eats.

    You can even put your latest Twitter messages on your blog, if you’re inclined.

    I decided some time ago to try to test-drive nearly every one of these that comes along, Twitter, Flickr, they all sound like members of the Banana Splits.

    When the levee breaks, or the Labor Day storm hits, we might be back to paper or a transistor radio anyway.

  2. Ellen Post author

    There seems to be no real difference between Twitter and Plurk. That’s modern life: tiny tweaks pass for “revolutions.” I could go on, but I’ve already surpassed the 140 character limit.

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