Sunday, May 10, 2009


Twitter has exploded in popularity in recent months, for reasons I cannot quite fathom.

Are we all such egomaniacs that we feel the World at Large is desperate to know what we are doing or thinking every fucking instant of the day?

Ermmm. I guess that question just answered itself. And it’s a somewhat disingenuous question, anyway, coming from a blogger. Bloggers, after all, are all about the Self-Aggrandizement. Didn’t Rob Smith used to say that his blog was “a ceaseless quest for adoration from people who don’t know me”?

Twitter has been around for awhile, but now the Hollywood Glitterati have adopted it en masse. And writing 140-character-or-less tweets is way easier than composing, you know, actual blogposts.

Even Crackbook Facebook incorporates Twitter-like functionality with its Update [“What’s on your mind?”] feature. Oy.

Not all Twitterers are twits, of course, and the technology has its good points. Keeping posts to 140 characters requires discipline and terseness, something I appreciate as a writer of 100-word stories. For that matter, there’s a site out there - Scrine - where posts consist of single sentences. Limiting one’s output focuses the mind tremendously. And it’s a perfect forum for witty people like James Lileks (twitter handle Lileks).

In at least one case, it’s brought a brilliant former blogger out of seclusion. Anna, who used to write at Primal Purge, now Twitters under the name - you guessed it - primalpurge, where she is as razor-sharp as ever. And since she no longer blogs, I’ll take what I can get. An example:

“Can't find Hallmark’s ‘Thanks For Not Strapping Me In a Car Seat and Driving Me Into a Lake’ card for Mother’s Day.”

There is a downside, of course. There’s always a downside to any newly-popular technology.

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of notes in my e-mail telling me that “so-and-so is now following you on Twitter.” As often as not, the Twitter pages of these individuals are packed with advertising and various spammy come-ons... in which case I simply block that “person” from following me.

Yes: Spam has come to Twitter. I call it Twam. Just remember - you heard it here first!

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