Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Twitter me stupid

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Now this is truly exciting:

Consolidating its position at the cutting edge of new media technology, the Guardian today announces that it will become the first newspaper in the world to be published exclusively via Twitter, the sensationally popular social networking service that has transformed online communication.

The move, described as "epochal" by media commentators, will see all Guardian content tailored to fit the format of Twitter's brief text messages, known as "tweets", which are limited to 140 characters each.

As someone who has written for The Guardian, struggling to edit my pieces down to 1,500 or even 1,000 words, I welcome this development with open arms, enthusiastic praise, and sustained applause. (It won't be easy to applaud with my arms open to their widest, but I'll try.)

Seriously, it's about time. Who has the patience, determination, time, and intellectual resources these days to make it all the way through a news article, let alone an opinion piece? The world is moving faster and faster, our lives are moving faster, and we just don't have the luxury anymore of sitting down with a cup of tea, or whatever your beverage of choice happens to be, and struggling through so many... words. Plus, grammar is so yesterday. The kids aren't into it, and can you blame them? Why make life more difficult than it has to be? (And don't even get me started on spelling. I mean, who cares?)

Even this blog... what's the point? Even our shorter posts verge on inexusable excess. We all know that the print newspaper industry is more or less dead. Well, so is the blogosphere. I mean, the freedom is great, and it's been a lot of fun to come out here day after day and spill my thoughts out into the virtual world, but I realize now that I must adapt, change with the times, maybe even a little ahead of the times. And the future is Twitter, which is sort of like the blogosphere, except that posts are, like, a line or two at most, and where we can hurl our opinions out into oblivion with relentless self-indulgence. Seriously, who needs a thousand words for anything? That's just too much, and you're just being selfish if you think otherwise.

The economic crisis? If you can't express yourself in 140 characters or less, then keep your opinions to yourself. Afghanistan? Same. As Rush once put it, "Conform or be cast out." (But if you want to intersperse your opinions with updates on every little facet of your life, from your eating habits to your bowel movements, hey, more power to you.)

Bow down, my friends. The stupidification of civilization is upon us. Smile, get with the program, and tweet away.

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  • Ugh.

    Should this be another Sign of the Apocalypse or am I being alarmist?

    So far I've managed to resist indoctrination into the legion of... Twits? Twitterers?, but alas, a friend of mine who works at a major media conglomerate has succumbed.


    By Blogger Grace, at 4:28 PM  

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