Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Social networking sites "Twitter" a trend too far?

Linkedin - the business contacts version of Facebook - has just joined the Billionaires club. Facebook, Myspace, Bebo and now Linkedin, have all made their creators wealthy beyond their wildest dreams.

No doubt this is the aspiration behind social networking site Twitter. You can see how it works from this short explanatory video.

So Twitter, according to the cheesy voice-over, offers a chance to share with others the bits of the 'real world' which happen between emails, phone calls and blog posts. "You wouldn't send an email to say you're having coffee - your friend doesn't need to know that" - but these short updates of just 140 characters, on a web-page personal to you allow you to share your life with the people who care.

"Carla was sceptical, but she found Twitter looks a little like blogs and within hours she saw a different side of people's lives. It was the 'real world'. Soon she was posting too - and her friends could see she had recently discovered a passion for Van Halen."

And so gushes Mr. Cheese, as he narrates the clever animated demo for the Twitter site. (Van Halen already have a lot to answer for, this may be a crime too far).

Meanwhile on Twitter more 'real world'...

"Ping! Did you hear that? My kettle has just boiled - I'm having some Chamomile tea!"
"Wow, Chief Executive - I didn't know you liked Chamomile tea too!"

The word twitter comes from birds - whose sound is a constant chirruping of meaningless, but endearing nothingness. It's been applied to gossips too - often women, who produce a similar constant babble which benefits no one (oh do stop your twittering).

Sorry, another 'real world' interruption....

'That's my letterbox clanking open - look some more junk mail has arrived! Isn't my 'real world' interesting!'

'Ker-Ching! Needless networking - is that the sound of my first million? Hooray! I'll never have to work again...

Shouldn't we all spend a little more time interacting with the 'real world' all around us? The more connected we become, the more disconnected our lives are.

Could I really be running down the new 'telephone' - it's amazing to think its inventors didn't know what that would be used for... no, I don't think so either.

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