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JillStar
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Postby JillStar » Sun May 24, 2009 3:45 pm

Does Twitter only allow you to put in small sentences then? I haven't really visited there, so don't know. I have a blog but can ramble on for pages or just a few words.

Just wondering. :)
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Postby xcheck24 » Sun May 24, 2009 6:48 pm

pengwenn wrote:Well, I wouldn't want all my dating experience to be "speed dating" nor do I want all my communication to be "tweets".


That's the thing. Twitter is not just the be all and end all to communicating. It's just one tool among many. There was an article out there that pissed me off about a year ago. It was a writer saying that you needed to give up blogging and do only Twitter. That's ridiculous. There's a diverse world of communicating online today, and Twitter is only one part and it should not be the only part of it.
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Postby Anblick » Tue May 26, 2009 3:15 pm

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Postby charlesp » Tue May 26, 2009 9:11 pm

TheMudge wrote:
charlesp wrote:Twitter is, like many things, a tool, a means, not an end.


But, as your article points out, most tweets are something inane like "I'm waiting." Which to me translates to something like "I am so bored with myself that I cannot go 3 minutes without having to pretend to do something that I can feel is relevant ... if I don't I might cease to exist."

It's the DMV folks: NOT waiting is a sign of the antichrist. Take a sodding book, fer cryin' out loud. Meditate (yes, it can be done). Do jumping jacks. Start a bloody CONVERSATION with someone sitting NEXT to you, instead of wasting your time flipping off the anonymous world with your pointless mewling.


I believe you're falling for the logical fallacy known as the bovine excretion fallacy. By your logic here, because a large percentage of guitars are being used to sit in college dorm rooms in an attempt to impress and woo sorority girls that no serious musician should consider picking one up and seeing what sounds can be made on one. Your statement is akin to a student of Itzhak Perlman saying "because a guitar doesn't have the nuance of a violin it can't be a serious instrument and thus must be shunned. If you're unwilling to put you time an effort into a 'real' instrument you should just spend you time on other endeavors". One could say the same of a mandolin or banjo (only hicks with a bottle of hooch play them!), but there are people who have found them to be brilliant means of making art. Hell, to take it to the consumer level, most CD players are used to play Britney and Miley, but that doesn't negate them as a medium by which work of artistic merit (if we're unwilling to give that title to Brit & HM) can be conveyed.

Brass tacks are that you can take the "most people suck so it's no good" side of things and dismiss any tool or method (take a look at what MOST people do with Photoshop), but it's a bit of a BS side to take when what you really should be saying is "I don't get it" or "That isn't a tool for me".

(Though I think what you're really doing is using this discussion on twitter as an excuse to rant about the vapidity of humanity... which may be a rant well worth having, but isn't exactly the subject at hand).

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Postby pengwenn » Wed May 27, 2009 10:27 am

I see no difference in the musicality of a guitar vs a violin. What twitter is to communication in general is like getting rid of 4 strings on a guitar and trying to make the same music you had with 6 strings. Can you still make music? Yes. But it's not going to be as rich and as full fo depth to it as what you would get with a complete guitar at your disposal.
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Postby charlesp » Wed May 27, 2009 11:36 am

So by your implied logic a short story is a lesser form communication than a novel, a sonnet less than a short story, and a Haiku is barely communicating at all. I believe Matsuo Basho, William Shakespeare, and O. Henry might take umbrage at your contention that "more" = "better".

Twitter isn't billed as, or used as, a means of communicating a novel (generally, though there was somebody who tweeted the entirety of Moby Dick I believe), so let's not pretend anybody is saying you're playing "the same music" as you would in another form. It is a different form, for a different communication.

Oh, and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kKHE-_wekU

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Postby pengwenn » Wed May 27, 2009 1:05 pm

charlesp wrote: your contention that "more" = "better".



Your words, not mine.

There are rock songs that use only 3 notes for the guitar riff (I can't think of the really famous one right now). They don't need any "more" notes to make it "better", but the possibility and availability to use more is there. LIkewise, you can take a song and record it in a studio with a full compliment of instruments and backup vocals and then take that same song to a single acoustic guitar and maybe that is better (the Stone Temple Pilots have an acounstic song that I think is better than the studio version).

Now you might say the "studio instruments" is full writing and the "guitar" is twitter, but I don't see things that way. I see those "studio instruments" as adjectives, nouns, adverbs, prepisitional phrases, etc. The "guitar" might only be the verb. Too often the language of twitter is netspeak (#mets, LOL, etc.) where you're not just using a verb (guitar) but your stripping it of any possibility (strings).

Crystal clear?

As to your short story/novel/etc. length comparison I don't see it. Some grocery lists are long some are short, but it's still a grocery list. Some stories are long and some are short, but it's still a story. If I were to ask you to tell me exactly how long a short story is you'd probably give me a range of numbers and then some caveats of how other people might see the length of a short story vs. a novellete or novela. And that's the point, I think. It's an arbitrary label put on something AFTER THE FACT. Twitter put those limits on up front.

Now, you'll probably say poetry IS twitter by that standard, but I disagree. Poetry has form and function where the two parts are interchangable with each other. And you can't have one without the other . . . even in free verse. Poets also strive for a deeper meaning in their form. Could twitter strive for a deeper meaning? Yes, but I don't think it does in it's current state (which is: "I'm sitting here waiting for my plane" or "I just ate a whole pizza" or "come see my latest movie" type of entry).

I see no reason to place arbitrary limits on my communication (this post a perfect example). When I write a story I write it until it's finished. If its length falls under the "short story" banner so other people will recognize and catergorize it, so be it. If it would be listed as "novel length" that's fine too (although I haven't written anything that long yet). If I set out to write a "3,000 word short story" and I get to word # 3,000 and I still haven't finished the story do I just stop and say that's it? No. Twitter makes you do that.

Yes, I started a twitter page as an experiment. It lasted about 5 days. I couldn't stand trying to communicate the whole of one tiny moment of existance in 140 words or less. And I couldn't stand reading the brevity of those I had marked to follow. There was no context. There was no relevance. Acount deleted.
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Postby charlesp » Wed May 27, 2009 8:55 pm

First off I want to say thank you to both pengwenn and Mudge for pushing back on this, I think you've both improved my thinking on the subject and I appreciate a reasoned discourse.

I'm not saying Twitter is the tool for all, just that it IS a tool and not one to be dismissed as lightly as some would like. If it is not the tool for you, move on, but just because an Ocarina is a simple few note instrument doesn't mean that it isn't a useful one, and a way to create beautiful music. If all you see of a journey is the destination, or all you see of a form is the limitation, you've missed the point. That doesn't mean you're unworthy, or that there is no point, just that the point wasn't for you.

I'll leave you with two more points on twitter... and then I'll have wasted more words than I should on the subject (as if that hadn't happened long ago).

1) Twitter doesn't make you stop at 140 characters, it makes you re-think what you've said. Not always is it a virtue to add more flowery language, and quite often we who live in words could use a lesson in paring down the extra words we put in because we like them.

2) I think some things are more powerful when there is less to them. There are many pieces of literature more moving than Inigo Montoya's speech in The Princess Bride, but it's the power of the delivery of the simple line "I want my father back you son of a bitch" that makes him a fully realized person. In the same vein, Jeffrey Zeldman is somebody who I've respected for a decade or so as a web design and interface "guru". I followed him on twitter because I think he thinks well on the subject of how the internet works, should work, can work. In the last month his personal tweets (a selection below) mixed in with his "work" ones, and he became a person (vs just a guru). These are the sort of thing that makes twitter "work" (though I could also point to many other ones, some pithy, some funny, some poignant, these are some of the best that stick out to me).

http://twitter.com/zeldman
Don't tweet about a man crying. Write a tweet that will make a man cry.

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Our last weekend living under the same roof. Coincidentally, Mother's Day weekend.

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Tears on the playground. The only balloon in the world has popped.

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I'll love my baby's mother as a friend when I no longer love her as a wife.

Half of parenting is discouraging the bad attitudes your kid gets from you (and of which you secretly approve).

Chilling in Carrie's new apartment. Everybody is fine.

As of today, my wife and daughter live separately from me. No trauma. Kissed daughter goodnight, walked home, walked dog, doing laundry.

Kid woke crying 3AM. Took an hour to calm her back to sleep. Now she's on school playground telling kids she wants to go home. Divorce blows

Minutes ago, pondering aloud what may come next in my life, I stepped barefoot into a pile of dogshit. Not a metaphor. God does schtick.

Daughter needs me. Taking rest of day off.

Blowing up balloons in the park. There is nothing more important I had to do today.

I am A-OK in my waking hours, but my heart breaks in my dreams.

I want to thank the great state of California for upholding the sanctity of my divorce.

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C Clarke
"Coffee is sufficiently advanced technology" - Merlin Mann
One day I realized that sadness is just another word for not enough coffee." - Wally (Dilbert)
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Postby xcheck24 » Fri May 29, 2009 7:17 pm

I think Charles said it all about Twitter. I don't really have anything to add to the argument.

I'm just posting this link, which I thought was a good read:
http://www.copyblogger.com/twitter-writing/
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Postby blindside70 » Tue Jul 28, 2009 5:07 am

Yes... much like like peanut butter and banana sandwiches, twitter isn't for everyone but that shouldn't mean that it's not for no one.
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Postby xcheck24 » Tue Jul 28, 2009 1:29 pm

That's a really good way of putting it, blindside.
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Postby *Elle* » Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:05 pm

I finally decided that I will officially use Twitter.
If you have one too and wanna follow me Im at
www.twitter.com/emochickie16
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Postby Richard Howardson » Sun Sep 27, 2009 1:45 pm

he he.....i'm coming. :D
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