May 20, 2009
On the "Twitter is the new ..." Concept
In Ten Things Twitter is Not on Seldo.com the author writes, "[this] 'Twitter is the new...' concept is central to a lot of misunderstandings of Twitter. Twitter is not the new anything. Twitter is nothing but the new Twitter: that very rare thing, an entirely new genre of service, like blogs, social networks, and way back in the day, portals all were. It's its own thing, and trying to analogize it to some other service is as useful as calling airplanes flying buses: sure, they sort of look like buses with wings, but that doesn't mean you use them the same way."
Three of the 10 things Twitter is not:
- the new email / the new telegram
- private or even secure
- a service the answers the question "what are you doing?"
And what Twitter is:
Twitter is like friend ESP, a portable zeitgeist. It lets you know 'what's going on' by telling you not what people are physically doing, but what they're thinking about, planning, reading, watching, paying attention to.
Hat tip to Amy Hale-Janeke, Head of Reference Services, 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Library, for calling attention to this blog post on the AALL's Court & County SIS List.
Being a unique form of web communications, Twitter even has it's own dictionary. Check out Twittonary, where you will learn among other things that "pig twitz" means "big floppy fingers that can not type." In OED fashion, usage is illustrated with examples: "sorry my typing is bad but i have pig twits for fingers." [JH]
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