Sunday, October 25, 2009

T is for...


2009 has been the year of Twitter. Any end of year review surely needs to reference it. It should. As such I will touch on Twitter here in general sense but save my experience with it for the end of the year (another thing besides Christmas to get excited about). Needless to say though the site has, for those who have involved themselves in it (not all things are for all people of course), been something of a new dawn of internet usage. I say this with a straight face.

People are open, honest, engaging, friendly, argumentative without being ridiculously over the top (see Youtube), endlessly hilarious (in fact if Twitter has proven anything it's just how many staggeringly quick, clever, funny, creative people there in the world who work as everything from paramedics to students and back again) and above all, real. The idea of reality is what the naysayers use to discredit Twitter, suggesting it's for people who don't interact with the world, who sit at a computer all day rather than engage - but nothing could be further from the truth. It's for people who actively do engage with the world, who are happy to meet up with random strangers on the basis of conversing through a few 140 character messages on everything from cupcakes to the London Marathon. I'll touch on my own experience of this in future (as mentioned) but the Twestivals of February and September proved that there is nothing socially inept about the people on Twitter.

Here's an example today of something I saw on Twitter that I thought showed what the site has done to change the internet. David Mitchell, having appeared in the last episode of Peep Show series six on Friday was obviously sent several messages on 1) would there be a seventh series? and b) was an opinion expressed on the TV show about The Wire, his own view. Thanks to Twitter people were not only able to ask these questions in a way that wasn't intrusive or time consuming, but they were able to get answers instantly, straight from the man himself. The site has helped the internet become personable, human, interactive; a real time reaction to what people are thinking; not 'heavily orchestrated campaigns' as those of a certain intelligence believe it to be so, proving they don't understand.

Anyway, I could go on. Graham Linehan (aka @glinner), who's become something of an unlikely champion of the site, the man behind the #welovethenhs hashtag, wrote all the above on this excellent post The Conversation. I couldn't have put it better myself.

And, when something goes wrong, it has a picture of a whale (known as the Fail Whale by those on the site) to indicate this. What's not to like about that? 2009 was also the year of the whale it seems, in my world at least.

No comments: