September 15, 2009
To LiveBlog or LiveTweet?
I like Steve Jackson. He's a curmudgeon, but the sort of curmudgeon who makes you think. And something he's been quite curmudgeonly about recently, and about which I've come to the conclusion that he's right, is LiveTwittering. It started with a post on his own blog, decrying the pollution of his Twitter stream by hacks tweeting from a Frontline Club event. He followed this up with a post on the Media140 blog, at Dee's invitation.
It's interesting then that when its hacks running the show, and no one to edit, a different tact is taken when social media is involved.
Suddenly there is no concept of news values. Only just how many tools can we use to spread the thin story just about as thinly as possible? There is never any thought of "what is this worth?" or "is this a story?"
Just keep on spreading.
Here's the thing: Twitter is in an explosive boom phase right now, and has been since the beginning of the year. A lot of people are relatively new to it, and they're full of enthusiasm for the new medium. There's been a recurring tendency for people to assume that New Shiny Thing will do everything and replace Old Less Exciting Thing. And over time, that goes away and New Shiny thing becomes just another tool in the toolbox. Look at the recent exodus of all the tech cutting edge adopters to FriendFeed - and their subsequent return to their blogs as the hubs of their activity, with the other services surrounding and feeding that core.
And that's where I'm at.
The real time web is important, and significant. But that doesn't mean that the old web, the archived, static web, isn't still of value. Twitter coverage is dispersed, and fades away as the moment passes. Archive content has real utility as reference and grist for the conversational mill in the weeks that follow. There's no harm in keeping an eye on the past and the future as we bathe in the endless flow of the now.
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