Wednesday, October 7, 2009

iSlack 2.0

I can't believe people still visit this blog. It's so lame. Some anon was asking me to describe my blog to them the other day and just after i made them aware of the social faux-pas that is speaking of internet-related activities in the real world, i went on to explain that it is a blank page with pictures of carparks and a bunch of viral youtube clips with no feedback from my readers. It may very well be the least updated blog in history that still gets updated and even i have stopped visiting it for my daily dose of perfect.

I remember back when i started this thing. The concept was still fresh and i was constantly in the mindset that everything i did needed to be recorded, drafted and documented on this blogger address. Everything from STAT tests and free big macs to Gears of War 2, Gametraders and coughing, there was little that could stop me from leaving the house, doing something and then going back to the house and writing about whatever it was i had done. The internetz was my oyster and it felt like a new era for being an online journal fag. Unfortunately, even the most awesome of dynasties aren't immune to change.

Enter Twitter.

A while back i was going through my emails and one Julian Cole appeared in my received column(||). Julian had magically stumbled upon my blog during it's wonder years and was amazed that i wasn't utilizing RSS feed and that new social networking site that allows you to send mass 140 character messages to people of interest and receive responses of the same nature from said people. I did some research on RSS and fell into a coma whilst doing so. It was totally boring and difficult for me to set up and when i woke up two weeks later i decided to check out this other form of communication he was talking about, known only to me as 'Twitter' (it's still known as that). I was young, foolish and desperate for hits, so i decided to try it out without even thinking twice about it.

For those of you that think it's trendy to stay 'out of the loop' or 'away from social networking devils', Twitter is basically Facebook on a cocaine binge. It's slim, fast, on slimfast and only responds in quick short bursts should you manage to catch it's attention. No top friends lists, no priorities, just good old social networking stripped back to it's bare essentials.

Here's how it works:

- Your contacts are divided into two sectors. 'Followers', who are the people following your 'tweets' and 'Following', the people whose tweets you have subscribed to. It's all very cult like at this point in time.

- Here's where it gets crazy. Any tweets you produce are instantly seen by anyone that is following you. They appear on your timeline visible to others but not visible on the public timelines of others. This means, anyone that you are following who is not following you back will not see your tweets unless you @mention them. An @mention to someone that is not following you is generally a reach for attention from someone that didn't find it necessary to follow you, possibly because you are unimportant. Your @mentions to people not following you are on display on your timeline for anyone that is following you but the response is not. Well, that is until you use the 'RT' (retweet) function which is basically a copy and paste function for people that want to name drop or can't come up with their own tweets. People who consistently retweet are the real life equivalent of that guy that tells you that story about the time he met Chris Mainwaring every time he sees you, either because he is oblivious to the fact that you already know it, or he wants you to double know it anyway. Thankfully, i only retweeted once and it was a retweet of one of my own tweets, which is excusable if you're me.

- Excited yet? Thought not. So once you know who's following you and you're following the inane observations of a bunch of celebrities who tend to make 139 character mistakes within every 140 character tweet, you're ready to start tweeting. What do you tweet about? How does everything sound? Subjects on Twitter are only limited by the imagination of it's users and during my stay there i was made privy to important matters such as maintaining erections through Indian mail order drugs and the bowel movements of pretty much every rapper in the northern hemisphere. It's like a mobile compendium of the most important information you never thought you needed, but could have easily lived without.

- Sometimes people argue that Twitter is not just a fad application for people that want to be one step closer to living their entire existence on the internet, but also an extremely valuable marketing tool for new companies that want to appeal to the tech-savvy youth of today. I couldn't agree more, Twitter is definitely a great marketing tool, a great marketing tool for WHAT I HAD FOR LUNCH!

What i had for lunch, it's what's for lunch (click to enlarge).

- The only other useful aspect of twitter is it's wildfire spam argument potential. This is when you @mention someone in a negative tone, they retweet their @mention to one of their @homies and suddenly you've reached out to twenty times more people then you'd initally hoped.

@Wacksauce - Man, @Mary is such a fucking bitch.
The seed is planted.

@Mary - Hey! @Dave did you see what that @Wacksauce said about me? I don't even know him!
The spark.

@Dave - RT @Wacksauce - Man, @Mary is such a fucking bitch......What an asshole!
The spark evolves into a small blaze.

@Marcus - @Mary and @Dave. Just ignore that guy @Wacksauce, he's spamming you to get followers.
My followers increase dramatically/the blaze turns into a bushfire.

@Wacksauce - Man, @Mary, @Dave and @Marcus are a bunch of spamming bitches.

@Mary, @Dave, @Marcus - @Wacksauce is a jerk! Don't follow him!
More followers, eternal flame.

There's all sorts of other shit that goes on in the Twitter ecosystem that is just as capable of wasting your time as it's base purpose. Things like #trendingtopics, twitpics and links to external pages with more twitter links on them are just a few of the things that convinced me my life isn't ready for another internet application. If you don't tweet, no-one tweets @you and the purpose is defeated and if you do tweet, you get more @tweets which means more work for results that don't actually count for anything but a few seconds of being sidetracked.

In reality: Labour equals results.

On twitter: Labour equals more labour minus time plus more labour recurring aka completely pointless. So, during my tenure i posted a rather mediocre 716 tweets. Most users that i was following had posted at least triple that between the time i started and my last tweet. However, all of my tweets were incredible and on average, consisted of around 100 characters. That's a total 71,600 characters and a shit load of time i could have spent elsewhere, namely on this very blogger account where my intellectual property generally resides. If you can be bothered doing the math, Twitter is half the reason i haven't been posting here very often. The other half is that i can't be bothered. Twitter was like a leaking tap in between my brain and my fingers causing me to dribble out whatever was on my mind or pissing me off and as a result whenever i sat down to have a good old whine on my blogger launchpad, i had nothing saved up because of Twitter.

It was upon this revelation that i immediately logged onto my twitter account and posted what will forever remain as my last tweet. "Twitter.................#i'm off that". I hash tagged the last three words because they were a trending topic at the time so more people could see it, old habits die hard i guess. To those of you still on Twitter, i wish you nothing but the best. We had some good times and definitely contributed to a-lot of other people's entertainment. I can only hope that you're on Twitter for the right reasons and that it doesn't interrupt the more important things in life, like your blog or a nice television show or something.

Look at it this way. You're with your friend in the city and you see a totally hot babe. Now, you can be the guy that spends 30 seconds on his iPhone telling a bunch of randoms about her or you can be the guy that's already halfway through the queue at McDonald's across the road.



The Teacher said...

I set up a blog just so I could leave you a comment. I hope you're happy with yourself.

Me said...

As soon as i read your comment i was given a brief glimpse into your future.

You are going to have a great life.

Julian Cole said...

That Julian Cole, what a dick.....Wait that's me....Wait I am still a dick for taking away from quality car park antics, parklife munters stories and blogging about chris brown citings! Well I look forward to more stories and I cant wait for the day when I can close my Twitter account in similar fashion!

Jimmy Hats said...