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Notes on Twitter

Twitter – its pithy immediate style recalls the telegraph, however the telegraph was a medium for private communication while the Twitter telegraph is public. In fact -as its inventors well know- the medium Twitter extends is the conversation (”twittering”), made global.

Twitter is by nature a celebrity medium (this is why journalists love it). Despite its apparent triviality, Twitterers must either be famous or actually have something to say (or both). Tweets are like the witty comments one adds to the dinner party conversation at just the right moment. Otherwise- noone listens.

A McLuhan tetrad for Twitter might look something like this:

Extends: group conversation (the Forum, the Salon, the Party)
Retrieves: the telegraph
Obsolesces: the media alert
Reverses into: a global audio feed???

On the Twitter/Facebook divide, if Twitter is the celebrity party we all get to crash, Facebook is the cozy sharehouse. It is perfectly legitimate to tell one’s nearest and dearest the trivial and mundane details of your life. Twitter however demands more attention to current events if you wish to be relevant, i.e. ‘trending’…

On another note, interesting that we call the news feed a ‘feed’ … information gluttony???

{ 2 } Comments

  1. Ruan Chaves | December 29, 2011 at 2:20 am | Permalink

    “We’ll do a whisper drive, for if the barishnyas got a twitter of it they’d tell the housetops and then all Cadbury would go crackers.” ( F.W. 193.15 ).

  2. Alice Rae | December 31, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Love it!!!

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