Thursday, March 26, 2009

Don't Feed Da Animals

Band: Gorilla Zoe
Album: Don't Feed Da Animals
Best song: "Lost" is really introspective and interesting. "Echo" is decent.
Worst song: "Talk Back" isn't great.

This really has nothing to do with anything music-related, but it's time to talk about Twitter. With the news that the service is figuring out how to monetize itself, I imagine I should write about it.

Not surprisingly, I'm of two minds on Twitter. On one hand, Twitter is another way that our communication is becoming more self-centered and shorter. It started out as micro-blogging, letting the entire world know what you had for breakfast. Like Facebook status updates, it's ridiculous, but somehow people use it. Twitter is another way the Internet is making each one of us into a brand, a mini-celebrity and gives us a way to funnel more nonsense into the ether. One hundred and something characters isn't enough to actually form a cohesive thought, forget trying to be insightful. Similarly, like MySpace or Facebook, it's a way for morons to all correspond with one another and find comfort in their moron-ness.

On the other hand, Twitter is popular for a reason. It is a technological solution to a problem that I didn't know existed, but clearly did. Twitter allows people have broadcast communications in a way that comments on Facebook feeds do, but Twitter makes it easier to do via different ways (texting, the Web, phones, etc.). It's a really smart business model and I'm kind of impressed with the popularity of it.

Again, most of my complaint from Twitter was about the question of monetization. Even with this week's announcement, I am curious if Twitter -- it does only employ 27 people -- can actually make decent money.

Here's a confession: I have a Twitter account. I subscribe/follow/whatever a few people's accounts, mostly on my iPhone. I follow Le Batard's Radio show, my magazine and friend of the site Brad. I also follow three joke Twitters: Abe Vigoda, Chewbacca and Admiral Ackbar. The joke accounts just reinforce the meta-ness of the Internet. The Internet makes even the smallest idea into something funny -- oftentimes into overkill mode -- and an entire Twitter account of a guy writing Star Wars jokes from Admiral Ackbar's voice delights me.

With all of that said, I have sent out exactly zero tweets. For some reason, people follow my non-tweets. I assume there's a "see if your friends use Twitter" thing on the site somewhere and my name is in some people's address books. I have no idea.

Which brings me to how I could possibly use Twitter. The reporter that runs my magazine's Twitter basically uses it to post links to stories from our magazine. It's a nice marketing thing. I imagine I could do that with this site; I could send people to new posts.

On the other hand, those 140 characters could be used to broadcast the very insightful thoughts I have during the day, that no one else cares about. They would not be lost to time!

So, here is my fake Twitter page (click on it to enlarge), in an exercise that probably only entertains me.


I really like this Gorilla Zoe record. I came at it via "Lost" because I want to make tender love to Lil Wayne's talent, but the rest of the record is pretty good.

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