Monday, June 21, 2010

what's wrong with my breakfast?

a recent survey found that 85% of a selection of engineers don't use twitter. they cited not caring what people had for breakfast as a reason they don't use it. this is my response.

what's so wrong with my breakfast that you can't stomach the information? i realize it's useless. i realize you don't care. but also realize, i don't care that you don't care. i am one of the mindless drones of twitter and [formerly] brightkite and facebook and myspace that update our status with whatever mindless drivel we happen to think is important in the moment at that time.

there's not much logic involved. wanna say something? say it. people will listen or they won't. but i don't expect them to. it's more of a general smattering of my thoughts and a few choice life experiences that people can refer to if they wish in the future. it can be a way for a potential employer to see if i might be a fit for their organization. it might be a way for a single young lady (or lad?) to determine if i'm worth sending a poke/message/direct tweet/whatever. perhaps i just want people to know i know certain things, or have certain opinions. whatever it is it's certainly one part exhibitionism, one part honest sharing of experiences and thoughts.

it would be nice if it had more function. perhaps a symbol prefix to be flagged in a number of ways: exclamation mark for an urgent or important message, question mark to "crowdsource" (ugh), pound sign to advertise an event, dollar sign to advertise a neat deal or other ad. extra modifiers could be postfixed to give further detail about the post. then each user could set their preferences of what kind of information comes into their stream from their friends.

that doesn't exist, though. what does exist is "i'm at place XYZ and i'm having a blast!" or, "this is a picture of a fucking AWESOME fish taco" or, "who else thought iron man 2 was kind of lame?" my posts aren't intended for the general public. they're not always even meant to be useful. i send this shit out because i'm bored and i want to share with my friends. they don't even have to interact with me. in some small way i am enriching lives with my pointless drivel. i help kill boredom. sometimes i share articles which i find useful or informative. sometimes i share music that means something to me.

you probably won't find it useful at first. you'll probably be too bored with it to even start. but once you have a good chunk of friends added into your account, you'll notice you can interact with them. you can follow what some of them are doing. maybe even find out something you wouldn't have without the service. yes, we should all have real lives and not be so connected to a text interface all the time. but sometimes technology can be more than just a distraction.

granted: most of twitter is pointless, and the examples i give which contain somewhat useful information is by and large not close to the majority of the tweets out there. twitter kinda sucks. but facebook is a good example of what it could be. the old brightkite was a good example of what it could be. maybe in the future all these techie news aggregating sites can turn into an honest-to-goodness social network of just nerds so we can all collaborate interactively and enrich each other's work and personal lives on common ground, where we can hack on it and do what we want with our own little home on the internets. but that's probably just a pipe dream.

i don't care if you use it because i don't watch my twitter feed tbh. but you can get a PixelPipe account, add your friends that are on the various social networks, and share with them all at once. you don't even have to follow what they're saying. just say something. try to make it useful; who knows, maybe you'll start a trend.

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