Terms of endearment
Time was to call someone a twit was a grave insult indeed. Some examples –
- Someone who is regarded as contemptible
- A foolish or annoying person
- A foolishly annoying person
- A silly annoying person
- An unpleasant or annoying person
But life changes. Now, to be referred to as a twit is most flattering indeed. It indicates that you are a member of Twitter – a social networking / micro blogging service that enables members to ‘tweet’ i.e. send and read short message updates from each other.
So, are you a twit?
John Collins in yesterdays Irish Times suggests that tweeting has moved into mainstream. I’m not so sure. I’ve got a twitter account but very few of my friends / acquaintances tweet. The alternative is to start ‘following’ new people. The problem with that is simple lack of time.My loss!
Yet, I can see the advantage of live tweeting providing live commentary about a particular event as it’s unfolding. Apparently, the Israeli government have done a live q & a using twitter. Much of the recent Mumbai bombings were gathered through tweets from people on the ground. Politicians and celebrities seem to be effective twits. But do I care if @jane is heading off to the hairdressers for an hour? It’s just too micro. Ok, if I was supposed to be meeting Jane and she was held up at the hairdressers…….. On the other hand, she could just send me a quick text. Yes, I’m aware that this type of thinking could have branded with the original definition of ‘twit’ by modern twitters everywhere.
Apparently, the commercial organisation behind twitter has yet to make a profit, despite having an approximate 6 million members. The twitter management team seem content to let its community of users dictate where the service and the technology should go. From a business perspective that is particularly interesting and I for one am curious as to how it unfolds. The technology is not much more than 2 years old and already has numerous spinoffs. An interesting one (that’s free!) for those interested in internet marketing, allows organisations to monitor what their customers are saying about them. Can twitter feasibly continue to evolve like this? Will the big guns (i.e. Google!) not be interested in a buy-out at some point in the near future?
Whatever happens, one thing is sure. To be labelled a twit has changed all meaning. Next time, someone talks about tweeting, just remember that they might not be referring to our feathered friends and the coming of spring.