On a painted sky
Where the clouds are hung
For the poet’s eye…” Be Neil Diamond
I have just put my experimental toe in another part of the social networking ocean and joined Twitter. As you already know, twitter.com/ is a free social messaging utility for staying connected in real-time. It enables its users to send and read each others’ updates, known as tweets, in response to one simple question: What are you doing?
It was launched by founder Jack Dorsey, with only a small band, in 2006. (Some of us recall yesteryear’s Big Bands of Tommy and Jimmy like it was only yesterday).
I am not sure which name I prefer to describe my new electronic social status-twitterer, twit, or some other dirtier derivative appellation. (Of course “derivative” itself is now a dirty word).
I was immensely flattered that within minutes of joining I had six new followers. One does not have friends on Twitter, one has followers, or follows, or both at once to lock in new acolytes who invite reciprocity. No matter that some live in exotic locations and that two of my new followers had rather exotic user names.
I expect a charity call from both of these sadly unprivileged ladies who are obviously so poor that they have very few clothes to wear. The only saving grace is that they do not live in Christchurch, New Zealand, where it is another extremely cold day and evidence that Global Cooling is, indeed, a reality, no matter what in-denial scientists and politicians may say to the contrary.
Speaking of politicians: if we ordinary mortals get such a better than aphrodisiac power surge from enrolling followers so quickly via Twitter, just imagine what past leaders, from Attila the Hun to Adolf Hitler, could have achieved if they were new media technology enabled. Mind you, Adolf’s arm waving on the small screen would have been a bit disconcerting live on Skype and worse recycled endlessly on YouTube. He would have definitely needed some of Brian Edwards’ media coaching before venturing any where near Nuremberg to rally the masses. (Nuremburg v1 before the war. Unfortunately, he missed Nuremberg v2 after it).
I have also belonged to Facebook LinkedIn and Plaxo for some time, with somewhat circumscribed circles of friends, family and colleagues. I’ve only managed 10 on Facebook so far. Is this because of exclusivity or unpopularity? I tend to err on the side of the former, although I had been less than assiduous in my contact harvesting. I’ve somewhat more on LinkedIn and more still on Plaxo-I figure they are more geared for grizzled professionals. (Let’s face it, while it is nice to catch up with old friends, I’m more interested in business networking and getting some messages out and even receiving the odd one just to show I’m a good sport).
However, I do like the administration features on Facebook like Events etc. What I mainly like is that I can do-it-myself relatively easily. Whether the tools are effective is another thing, although the birthday prompter is a real domestic saviour.
Self-effacing honesty has even obliged me to recently update my 9 year old photograph on at at least some of my social networking sites. This belated electronic honesty, my sources tell me, is not usually practised on the really social social networking sites, where apparently even a Phil Spector can appear less spectrally and more naturally if anachronistically hirsute, without the need for a wall of wigs.
But I digress quite uncharacteristically. The thing I have just discovered about Twitter and Facebook is that I can link the two and post a short message, inside Twitter’s rather demanding, for me, 140 character limits per post, which points unsuspecting viewers and voyeurs to, say, this blog.
This has the enormous potential to increase my international readership to double figures. This is immensely encouraging. 99.9 per cent of bloggers know that blogging is really an onanistic if not autoerotic electronic experience -and a much safer one than than the non-online alternatives that have been very much in the news recently. The audited readership of most blogs is, for most if not all of the time, a circulation of one.
Life is an atmospheric or oceanic spiral, not a circle, hopefully a virtuously ascending spiral, not a viciously declining one. With the electronic needle and thread of social networks I can thread them altogether and cast my invisible electronic fishing line into hitherto uncharted seas and see what I can fish up and land before the seagulls get it.
But it gives me pause for thought to think that I have never heard seagulls twittering, though I must read Richard Bach’s book again to make sure I am not barking up the wrong tree.
Though the young and outwardly mobile demographic of Twitterers, whose parents were hardly born when it was recorded, may not agree, for the mellow and mature the lovely bit of Bach Jonathan Livingston Seagull -inspired Neil Diamond nostalgia Be is much better than, say, the heavy metal of Sebastian Bach. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgkk0Hdwmo8