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I Figured You’d Want To Be There

February 9, 2010

I know this isn’t important, and I know nobody wants to read about somebody else’s personal experiences, and I don’t usually call people names, but:

It took me a long time to warm up to Twitter as a means of public communication. I now count that as one of the serious mistakes I’ve made as a journalist. If I’d been more open-minded toward the medium at the beginning, I would have had more of a first-mover advantage as it began to grow.

Plus, it turns out that I like Twitter. A lot. My early resistance to the site was because I already used it for private communication and had trouble thinking of it as a public forum. But the best part of Twitter is that it gives you the option of making private or semi-private experiences — being trapped inside during a snowstorm, or watching Super Bowl commercials — decidedly public. It’s like being able to talk with your friends in a bar, only you don’t have to be at the bar, and the range of voices isn’t limited to your friends. And then, when you’re done, you just turn it off.

Some people have another name for preferring to sit on your computer and digitally talk to other people, who, let’s be honest, aren’t your friends, rather than hanging out at the bar with your actual friends.  They call it being a geek.

I’m under no illusions with regard to the nerdiness of the political blogosphere—the most influential people tend to be quite astute, so the data sample is going to skew towards the bluestocking.  But it’s quite rare that somebody I read on the regular just comes out and says it.  I mean, holy atomic pile, Batman.  “You don’t have to be at the bar”?  God knows I’m not Van Wilder or The Fonz, but come on, man.

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