The year that was: twitter

Oh no, not another blog entry about twitter. Yup, it is. I know right? I’m also ashamed to be writing about twitter when so many blogs, albeit useless(most of them), have done it; but I have about 20 drafts on other topics that I have to get about to finishing before I can post them, and this topic was the easiest to start and finish without any research needed.
This isn’t the first time I’ve written on the topic but it’s most probably the last. Really wish I could provide a link to the other entry but I did it last year and don’t have the bandwidth to go through my past posts. I’ll update here with the link when I finally get the time. The first entry had been a general overview on how to use twitter, a newbie handbook so to speak. This one is more of a recap.
Twitter like any other social network is a dynamic entity and much as I have nostalgia about the days when twitter was still very new (to Kenya) I have to accept the reality that is the twitter of today. So much negativity that before refreshing the page I have to brace myself for the filth and hatred that sometimes spews from it. I’m not the most saintly of people, but damn, people really outdo themselves, there’s really no limit to how low you can go.
When it comes to content I generally enjoy Tuesdays although most of the stuff on there isn’t that much different from what I have on my hard drive, but it is refreshing to see I’m not the only connoisseur for some things. But on a side note my hard drive tops the timeline in the HD, variety and that it’s motion area. In my books, porn is ok, the whole women being objectified angle is just propaganda from some feminist that was pissed her imaginary boyfriend refused to keep her photo in his wallet.
Bullshit and porn aside, when did twitter become the haven for attention seekers? It used to be an open forum where we’d say whatever was in mind and social interaction was peaking positively. We’d attract each other through our minds where like-mindedness and mutual interests brought people together. Reasons to follow would arise from coming across interesting things from a person then going over their content and liking it then following. Nowadays a person just joins twitter does not so random follows then tweets “@fucker #nf”! Which is just a prompt asking you to return in kind.
I have done several avi induced follows but with time you come to realize you get eye candy material but most of the time little else. Which is why I rarely put up my photo, I may neither be ugly nor that good looking but I prefer to be followed through the content of my tweets rather than the image on my avi. When it comes to followers, I treat it the same way I would my resume, I’d rather have a callback based on qualifications rather than face the bias that comes with showing the…umm…face. Who even puts a photo on their resume (modelling/tv exempted)? Anyway as long as the majority of my tweets are my thoughts and opinions with little to no attention seeking, I can sleep easy with the printouts of the retweets I get, under my pillow. When they are enough I shall shred and use them for padding in the pillow.
The worst trait, for me, about the anonymity that comes with social media would be the cowardly settling of vendettas. I have used the collective “social media” because this includes blogs. When you start a blog with the intention of tarnishing somebody’s reputation while hiding behind the veil of anonymity, you are just being cowardly. The prose in some of those blogs is sometimes so fucked up it actually counts as mind rape too (and I wish the PC crew would also add mind rape to that list where according to them saying “Merry Christmas” is offensive to people from other religions…and atheists), reason I stopped automatically checking out some links. But here’s a rule of thumb to assist you when using social media to settle scores, if (theoretically?) you can’t say it to your target’s face, even with a glass wall or chain-link separating you so that at least they know who said it, don’t bother saying it; because then you’ll just be a little whiny bitch and you’d have done the world a huge favour by having waited that one out and come out in a wet dream.
Nowadays I avoid tweeting where I am because events on the timeline have made me wary of meeting new people through twitter, which wasn’t the case little over a year ago. This is sadder considering how many of my good pals I met through twitter and facebook. Haven’t used foursquare or activated specific location in my tweets in a while too!
Basic etiquette dictates that should a photo of me be taken using a device belonging to a third party and the said third party isn’t in the frame then the third party isn’t allowed to publish the photo onto any social/public platform where it’s available to many people, without first asking for my authorisation. Simple! Furthermore, since you are not in the photo, what right do you have to publish that photo on a public platform, regardless of the fact that it was your capture device that was used!  Hell, even if the third party is in the frame, the fact that I’m also in it means that for the photo to be used in any public forum its publishing should be authorised by all parties clearly visible in it. This isn’t about being politically correct it’s about privacy! While I may have willingly posed for the photo, the act didn’t carry implicit authorisation for publishing!
Sadly privacy is really a thing of the past as it seems more than a considerable number of people have taken tweetups as an opportunity to dig dirt on strangers they met online. I don’t really understand why you would want dirt on me yet you barely know me and we barely ever interact both professionally and personally. If you sincerely just wanted to meet to confirm whether the personality projected in my tweets matches the live me that’s cool since I’d assume you want to know me better, but you have no right to try use things I told you in confidence against me online. Here I’m referencing the numerous tweefs. We should really respect each other in this area. You are allowed to use anything I published in a public forum against or for me but anything I chose to keep off, you aren’t allowed to post on my behalf…it isn’t really that complicated, is it?
Anyway here’s a list of the top tweeps in different categories I came up with:
Do I look that bored?
And finally, there’s this new breed of “social media experts” who have ambition. This section is specifically for you. Please join me in camera 3. (Blame Jon Stewart for the previous sentence)
So, you have a few thousand followers, a somewhat well-known (kinda biased/one sided/ screams “SNOB”) blog and have a vision of heading a motivated department into the future and beyond… Where the head drives a Veyron, has an Olympic size swimming pool filled with Courvoisier circulated and replaced every few hours to keep it from going stale, the poolside padded with a mat woven from the pubes of ten thousand virgins, and you rejected Phelp’s application to be your lifeguard and hired James Cameron and his sub to stay submerged and pull you up if you stayed underwater too long…because you don’t know how to swim….ok, this metaphor has dragged for too long…
 Ambition is great and is vital in an increasingly crowded, competitive yet highly rewarding sector namely digital; but before you delve into that world please leave your ego at the door. In professions like medicine and law you can afford ego because they’re time tested (the professions, dumbass) and have well setup guidelines that if you excel in you pretty much earn the right to brag.
For digital you’re dealing with dynamics like people’s preferences in usage of social networks and other digital architecture, and fads. Something may be relevant today then obsolete the next day with no defined timeline or prediction [read MySpace]. Remember the internet as we know it i.e. the www with hyperlinks and all that is relatively new, and blogs and micro-blogs are even younger!  You can’t really claim the information on their behaviour/reason to be time-tested.
You as the person making a pitch on use of digital media to investors are equivalent to the weatherman, you will make many confident predictions but few will actually pan out. More so on profitability. Your role at most should be ceremonial but in the same way everybody still needs an idea on what tomorrow’s weather will be like, the investors may decide to stick with you; so you just make those educated guesses and just cross your fingers. Remember humble pie tastes better if you were modest to begin with, especially when much of the interpretation of existing data came out of your ass.  You really don’t set yourself apart by making a presentation to digital professionals and repeatedly stating “content is king”…really? The fuck do you think they get paid for? Chiselling models of computers in soapstone then selling for profit?
And the most important thing in digital, you have to make your services available to as many people as is technologically possible! This can never be stressed enough! The minute you make it a class thing…well…you’ll barely make it through the door.
Take this advice from a not so savvy person exposed to a lot of social media ish but-can’t-refer-to-himself-as-an-expert-yet
Finally,
Overall, I’m thankful for the few people I meet through social media (read twitter) that make it worth staying on for a little bit longer. It’s the few gems hidden in the dirt that are so valuable that you don’t mind digging a little bit more if only to find more like those.
A pal is getting married in a few hours so I gotta dress up and get going.
Peace mes amies.

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