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Tweeters: Newsies Of The New Century

I think people are too quick to judge Twitter. For most tweeters (people who use twitter), yes, it is nothing more than Facebook status messages. For news organizations, blogs, and websites, it is the Newsboy of the new century. In Newsies they had the time it took for someone to pass by them to sell a paper, in twitter, they have 140 characters. It was said by Jack, in the movie, "headlines don't sell papes, Newsies sell papes!" This holds true for blogs and news feeds on twitter as well. A publication's ability to generate traffic via twitter is based on their ability to generate interest in 140 characters or less.

People are so quick to jump on the next hottest thing in hopes of being on top of what's hot, and for a lot of people that's Twitter. But though there are people quick to jump on every new bandwagon, there's even more people just as quick to jump on the hater hearse (Officially coined CollectiveCo 2009, I googled it). I think that it is a little premature. While I agree with some points against the usefulness of a message conveyed in 140 characters and the lack of manners some seem to demonstrate in public (it's quite a bit like texting), they might want to ponder the importance of twitter as a tool to spread ideas. Yes, it may have been a flop as a tool to generate questions for Jimmy Fallon to interview Cameron Diaz, but it's a great tool to find out quick news headlines from the BBC, get music selections by the likes of Q.Tip and ?uestlove, or get pics from a friend.

Now don't get me wrong, do I want to shoot myself from boredom when someone tweets "eating"? Maybe, but hell, I think I am guilty of the same things and much of this is due to the fact that twitter isn't an established medium. It's not a chat program, it's not a social networking site, it's not a blog, it's not Posterous (I just learned about this one today from Rainn Wilson, it's perfect for you Crackberry and iPhone addicts). The thing about twitter is that it is so vague. The very basis and reason for many people's gripes (the brevity of 140 characters) is exactly what allows it to stay versatile. Twitter will be tough to define or confine into a category such as blog or social networking site. People complain about Twitter but what they should be complaining about is the people they follow. Because twitter is different things to different people, find people that use it how you use or find useful and follow them, if you can't find them, try to redefine the way twitter is used (or better yet, don't even mess with it).

As I mentioned in my post about my plunge into twitter, ?uestlove had coined twitter as the new blog, and in a way he's right. For many people who DO blog, it's the medium for things that are not blog worthy, the one sentence epiphany that's not worth flushing out into a post, the cultural observation while sitting on a bus, the quick message to a friend, or the outreach for another person's opinion (usually for a quick response). Due to the fact that the internet is almost everywhere now (including our phones), Twitter enters into unknown territory as a medium (I won't even say what type because I am unsure). Twitter is somehow information and communication all at the same time, all while not being too time consuming for our increasingly busier lives.