Twitter and more disconnection

It's weird how bloggers, gossip types and "Web 2.0" company founders and execs have developed into this strange pseudo-celebrity sphere, where many of them are constantly stroking each other. What's unfortunate about it is that the podcasts, blogs and other media I've consumed from the tech world are becoming hopelessly out of touch.

I know I've previously blogged about this with regards to Leo Laporte and the This Week in Tech gang's comments about how "nobody uses .NET," but reverse awareness is also getting out of hand. This post from Scoble is one of countless about Twitter, and it's hopelessly out of touch. The comments on the post seem to concur. Twitter has become something of a flagship for attention whoring, especially in that pseudo-celebrity community. Seriously, I'm so tired of hearing about it, about how great it is and it's changing the world.

I'm not generally one to be a poopy pants about new technology, but I agree with the comments about how this thing is a niche feature for something else, not a business. VC's keep sinking money into it, and for what? It feels like 2000 all over again.

And it wouldn't be so damn annoying if it weren't for the constant, "This is our attention whoring party and we're so awesome," kinds of posts and comments. Seriously, take it to your average high school, and they'll be like, "Yeah, I can send text messages, what do I need this for?" Even kids who live for attention don't see the value in this.

The pseudo-celebrities are living unbalanced lives, as far as I'm concerned, which probably contributes to their lack of perspective on Twitter's true impact. I don't think it's an over-generalization to say that most people outside the valley don't feel any need to share when they take a dump to their followers, or know when the followers are taking a dump. There are so many more important things going on at all times, and this constant connection noise is, in my opinion, a waste of time.

Do any of these people turn off the electronic devices and spend time with their kids, pets, a book or a movie or whatever? Is this "knowledge" about what everyone else does really that important?


  • I thought YouTube was the flagship for attention whoring! That e-fame community also shows a lack of perspective, although I think online video is essential to social networking.

    I can't wait to see if Michael Arrington gets to hold his Iron Man premiere party!

  • Jeff,

    Until 2 months ago, I would have completely agreed with you. I think your larger point about the lack of perspective from the "web celebrities" is absolutely right on. They're living in their own bubble.

    That said, I've begun using Twitter with a select group of friends. Some of them I know personally, and others I know via the .NET community. Using it in this way has been rewarding. I get much more than mundane information like what's for dinner. I can say it's been pretty darn fun in a different way than SMS. Anyway, not that Twitter needs defenders, but once you move away from the "bubble", it can be interesting.

  • Right on! I tried Twitter and was actually turned off to people I used to respect. Why people want to reveal the worst parts of themselves online for the entire world to see is beyong me.

  • Twitter, as everything else, is what you make of it. If the celebrities bug you, don't follow them.

    Twitter, for me, is about the conversation. I can hear and talk about all things I am interested in with people that I don't know enough for IM, and wouldn't want to. I can talk at the same level as all the people I follow, and sometimes hear back directly from these people, some of whom I consider to be really smart people. That's all it is for me. It's not a life changing app, but it has changed the way I listen and use information about things that are talked about on Twitter (at least, in MY follow list). Your mileage, obviously, may vary.

  • I agree with Rob, twitter is not just about lame inspirational quotes, I just pet my cat and i'm gonna go to the store does anyone want anything. There are great conversations that carry on, useful insight to be had and new people to meet. Simply writing it off as attention whorish and ego stroking is narrow sighted and frankly a bit ignorant.

    Twitter is still very much in the early adopter stage and who goes to places like that? Early adopters, that's who! People like Scoble and Arrington and Calacanis. They are on the cutting edge of tech so they will be there, and they will be at the next big thing before everyone else and the next big thing after that.

    If you don't like twitter that more than ok, but twitter gives YOU the power of choice, so chose.

  • What I think is ironic is that I never would have found you had Scoble not shared you on his link blog. I couldn't agree more with your opinion about unplugging and doing really important things with your time.

    Nonetheless, I'm glad I found you. Thanks Robert! :)

  • I am imagining Jeff, ten years ago, saying: "This whole blogging craze is just attention whoring by pseudo-celebrities."

  • But why do you have to be engrossed in "the conversation" constantly, and how many do you need to be involved in at once?

    A friend was just in SF for one of the "Web 2.0" conferences (the term still annoys me), and speakers were actually saying things like, "Well, the word on Twitter is that you're bored with this so let's move on to something else." Doesn't that seem at all disrespectful? Since the Lacey-Zuckerburg incident is it now acceptable to not only be a part of "the conversation" but also control it to satisfy your every whim? That's not wisdom of crowds, that's wisdom of a mob mentality.

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