True story: I was offered the opportunity to translate/localize the Flickr website for Taiwan — friend’s roommate worked for Yahoo and was in charge of the localization project — but passed it up because I didn’t need the money and I just don’t like translating that much; also, although I had a Flickr account, I didn’t use it often, so didn’t feel invested in it at all. Am kind of regretting that now. *g*
My Flickr account is here; sadly, I have no digital camera to call my own, so what you get are cat photos taken by my cousin and random World of Warcraft screenshots. I don’t suppose World of Warcraft counts as ‘something technology-related’? Because I can certainly go on and on for hours about it. I don’t think I’d have much of an audience, though, so let’s talk about Twitter instead.
Yesterday, I was talking to a friend about Twitter and how it’s taking over the world. Everyone uses Twitter, it seems, from celebrities to non-technogeek friends. There are friends of mine who I met through their blogs that rarely blog anymore in non-Twitter form.
I can certainly see the appeal — it’s easier to talk in one-liners and in stream-of-consciousness fashion than constructing paragraphs the old-fashioned way. Sometimes you just want to save a thought, not make a 10,000 word entry. It’s like saving your text messages for posterity. And, as friend pointed out, it’s easier to seem witty/deep/meaningful with a one-liner than with posts that require follow-ups. I’ve posted MSN chatlogs to my journal in the past, simply because I was too lazy or not motivated enough to organize them into coherent entries, and hey, they still seemed hilarious to me. *g*
What Twitter and random chatlog cut-and-pastes also do, though, is strip themselves of context that makes them easy for others to understand. When you cut off context, you cut off much of your audience. Of course, sometimes no context is necessary — ‘Man, I hate rain,’ is fairly self-explanatory. But messages like ‘transparency and trust: Pandora as “smart friend”‘ probably aren’t going to mean much to anyone who doesn’t have a direct plug into your brain. I’ve mostly stopped reading Twitter messages because while there are messages I understand fully and am interested in, I’d have to sift to find them, and the Twitter format doesn’t lend itself to easy browsing. Possibly it’s just that my Twitter-ing friends and myself have parted ways a bit in terms of interests, so what they think of as requiring no explanation seems incomprehensible to me. But I miss long and meaty posts, I miss explanations for the uninitiated, and I miss being able to learn about subjects I’m unfamiliar with and commenting on them, discussing them until I am not quite so ignorant.