You know how I've complained about how I just don't get Facebook — that I find it disorienting, and just generally a lousy way to communicate information?
Well, I've found a worse way — Twitter.
Have you seen this new site that S.C. Rep. Dan Hamilton and self-described GOP "political operative" Wesley Donehue have started, SCTweets? Basically, its point is:
Specifically, we expect the Statehouse crew to be twittering a lot from
the floor and we thought it would be cool to see what they were saying.
That goal somehow expanded and we decided to showcase all South
Carolina politicos with our directory. We then gave them a way to
interact through #sctweets.
Look, I don't mean to criticize Messrs. Hamilton and Donehue at all. I appreciate the effort. Go for it. But when I try to obtain any sort of information of value from a series of incomplete, typo-ridden sentence fragments from a bunch of people ranging from Anton Gunn to David Thomas to Bob Inglis to Nathan Ballentine to Thad Viers, with a lot of Blogosphere usual suspects such as Mattheus Mei thrown in, I feel like I've trying to get nutrition from a bowl of Lucky Charms mixed with Cracker Jack with cotton candy and Pop Rocks on top, stirred with a Slim Jim. Just a jumble of junk.
The "authors" aren't to blame. It's the medium. I'm still waiting to find any value in this Twitter thing. I suspect I'll be waiting a long time.
What do I consider to be GOOD way to communicate information? Well, here's a coincidence: I actually looked at my Facebook page this morning, and as usual got little out of it. But I noticed where a friend I worked with a quarter-century ago posted something that seemed a deliberate illustration of the incoherence of Facebook. He exhorted readers to:
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence along with these instructions in a note to your wall.
So I followed his instructions (except for the posting part). The book nearest to my laptop was the literally dog-eared (chewed by a dog that died three decades ago) paperback Byline: Ernest Hemingway. Here's the fifth sentence on page 56 (if you count the incomplete, continued sentence at the top of the page as the first):
And you know what? I got more out of that than I got out of that Twitter page. At least I formed a clear, coherent picture of something.
It occurs to me that Twitter is the bright new world that that Colorado congressman who claims credit for killing The Rocky Mountain News extols. And then it occurs to me that to the extent he is right, to the extent that this is the future of political communication, we are in a lot of trouble int his country…