It’s fairly commonplace these days for people to write an “I’m Falling for Twitter and Here’s Why” piece. For instance, here is North Carolina journalist Ginny Skalski doing an impassioned video blog post for everyone who doesn’t understand Twitter. Twitter is becoming more and more mainstream (read: boring) every day. The true early adopters have long since moved on to newer and more interesting stuff. Nevertheless, I’m Falling for Twitter and Here’s Why.
Twitter is the complement of video conferencing.
Have you ever been in a video conference? They suck. They suck because in a video conference, your job is to stay on topic. Video conferencing is Important and Expensive. You have to make Big Talk, not small talk. Of course, you can make small talk, but it’s hard. The medium works against you. And since small talk is what lubricates Big Talk, video conferences end up feeling stilted and sterile.
But on Twitter, the main thing is not Big Talk, but What You’re Doing Right Now. Which is often pretty dreary stuff. Thus the obvious, and to be fair, quite reasonable, criticism of Twitter is that it is vanity broadcasting at its most asinine. Why should I care that you re-organized your sock drawer this weekend? And do you really want to know what I found when vacuumed under the sofa?
Except that if I meet you tomorrow, it is in fact extremely valuable to know that, after much deliberation, you ultimately decided to put the athletic socks on the left and the dark socks on the right. Because I need to start a conversation with you about something Big, and there is no better place to start than with something small.
Twitter is for all the crumbs that fall off the video conferencing table. Video conferencing is about intentionality, and Twitter is about serendipity.
Serendipity is a lot more fun. And in the long run it’s a lot more valuable.
So what did you do this weekend? I want to know.