Tuesday, August 4, 2009

why Twitter's not trivial, by a print journalist who trivializes Twitter

From the opinion section of the Detroit Free Press comes further evidence that even the most social media-friendly print journalists either: a.) don't really understand the value of social media; or b.) have yet to master the finer points of conveying irony through the written word.

This most recent proof comes the Freep's deputy managing editor Steve Dorsey, in a column about Thursday's Twitter hack. The column, "Tweetless Thursday was a shock," makes the sound and fully reasonable argument that in its approach to reporting the outage, mainstream media "once again...underestimated the value of social media to its users."

Dorsey points to the Associated Press description of the event:
“For Twitter users, the outage meant no tweeting about lunch plans, the weather or the fact that Twitter was down.”

As Dorsey explains,
The site has played a big role in several recent news stories ranging from the social turbulence following the Iranian elections to the first picture of a plane that landed in New York’s Hudson River. Locally, the earliest headlines and photos after the tanker explosion on I-75 at 9 Mile were on Twitter....

Some use Twitter solely as an input channel, to update their Facebook status. Others value its conversational nature. I take advantage of both. Ultimately the biggest value of Twitter is a weeded out, faster connection to things I didn’t know before.

Dorsey had me until the final paragraph of his piece: "Embrace it or not, but don’t ignore Twitter. Give it a try: it’s free (and it’s addictively fun!)."

Okay, so after an entire piece that argues for taking Twitter more seriously, he ends by encouraging his readers to try it not because of its social value but because it's free and addictive? All we can do now is hope the irony was intentional.

2 comments:

Laura said...

I'm an active tweeter and I occasionally find myself in Dorsey's position. I take Twitter very seriously but I'm afraid to look like I take Twitter seriously. So when talking about it I often end with something along the lines of "...and it's so fun." I can't blame Dorsey for the last-minute face-saving move. I suspect that the Freep caters to a large number of older readers who might be smirking and trying very hard to dismiss both Twitter and its tweeters. Dorsey himself is clearly still be on the fence.

poetry4kids said...

I like this cartoon:-)

lol, milou

 

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