February 6th, 2010

Net Noise

Twitter

118 posts in, I’m still finding Twitter largely pointless. It’s just not *enough* for me to care about–Facebook has these big huge profiles and blogs have as much space as you would like, but there’s almost no way to determine who you are dealing with on Twitter unless you know them already. And most people *don’t* distill well into 140 characters (I count myself in this group)–Twitter is boring because most posts are a) links to articles or other people’s twitter posts that I am not going to follow because there is no commentary provided and I don’t know where the “tiny url” will take me, b) comments on other people’s twitter posts that I didn’t read at the time and now can’t find (why on earth don’t think link the comments to the posts? why?), so the comments make no sense to me, or c) boring.

I’ve been told that I’m bored by Twitter because I refuse to accept it as it’s own medium, and keep waiting for it to be Facebook or a blog (witness the above refusal to call Twitter posts “tweets”–I just can’t anymore). Even those Twitter friends of mine who Twitter amusingly, if they (used to) have a blog I keep wishing they’d expand the point (you know who you are).

Someone said that I would like Twitter better if I followed celebrities, and when I said I don’t know any celebrities, said I didn’t have to. Apparently Twitter is less like Facebook, where you friend people you know in real life in order to keep up with daily adventures and thoughts and share your own (well, that’s what I’m doing on Facebook) and more like a blog, where you offer thoughts and opinions to the wide world o’strangers, and see if there’s anyone out there who is interested in them.

So I’m trying, and have a (very) few celebrity Twitter recommendations of Twitter feeds you might enjoy. I like the tiny stories of Arjun Basu (although they often strike me as installments of one larger story). I also follow novelist/short-story writer/playwright AL Kennedy, who is very wry and funny about literary celebrity in Britain (she’s always unwell, on a train, about to go speak to a conference of people for reasons she does not understand.) And I’m not even sure how this happened, but for a while now I’ve been following someone named Nerdy Girl, who turns out to be the publisher of This Magazine, Lisa Whittington-Hill, and also is hilarious.
Blogs
I’m still reading Penelope Trunk‘s blog. I know, I shouldn’t, but I think it fills the gap in my life that people with TVs fill with reality shows about sex rehab and how renovating your house can wreck your marriage. She’s such a self-righteous, self-important train-wreck, and yet she’s not stupid and occasionally makes good points. For example, you could read certain bits of her post of frugality and be reminded of how we all choose our own financial constraints–those who consider life not worth living without a two-car garage will be stuck paying for that, and will have to work accordingly. Those content with a driveway–or a bike–will have more flexibility in their career options and/or more discretionary income.

Great points, and inspiring for those who feel their jobs might become too much at some point (hi!) But then she goes off on how what really matters is having household help so you can devote yourself to work, as well as a flash car to impress clients, and you realize she’s a lunatic capitalist. But it still makes for fun reading.

There’s better reading afoot in the blogosphere, however. Have you seen Mark Sampson’s new(ish) Free-range Reading blog? It’s got book reviews and lit news, but a bit unusual for a lit blog is that there’s been a couple really interesting posts about journalism (which MS is when he’s not busy being a novelist). It’s a whole other kind of writing, that journalism thing, and kind of cool to get to read about it from the inside. Also, naturally, he reads good books and writes about them well!

On a more mundanely self-absorbed note, does anyone know how the “next blog” button (up at the top of the screen here) works? I never even noticed it before this week, when the statistics on this site started to say it was referring a lot of people through here. My first thought was that maybe the blog behind me in the queue had gone way up in traffic, but there is no “last blog” button, so I can’t go there. Also, I’ve found that hitting “next blog” several times from the same blog leads you to different ones, so I think my theory is fundamentally false. But I don’t have a better one–do you?

RR

So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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