A couple of years back… actually, to be precise, it ran on the very day before I got laid off from the paper (which really made the part where I reflected on a politician declaring the death of news media, um, interesting)… I wrote a column in which I blasted the very idea of Twitter:
… But so far I haven’t figured out what Twitter adds to modern life that we didn’t already have with e-mail and blogs and text-messaging and, well, the 24/7 TV “news.” Remember how I complained in a recent column about how disorienting and unhelpful I find Facebook to be? Well, this was worse. I felt like I was trying to get nutrition from a bowl of Lucky Charms mixed with Cracker Jack topped with Pop Rocks, stirred with a Slim Jim…
Then, a few months later, Tim Kelly persuaded me that I could promote my blog using Twitter. So I tried it. And I got hooked on the form, sort of a cross between headline writing and haiku. And Tim was prophetic. My blog gets 3 or 4 times the traffic that my old blog did when I was at the paper — something close to 200,000 page views a month, and sometimes well over that.
And now, I’m one of the top Tweeters in Columbia, one of the “Twitterati,” according to the Free Times:
The former editorial page editor of The State tweets a lot and has 1,200 followers. He’s often re-tweeted, tweeted at, and he becomes involved in Twitter debates. Sometimes he’ll even play mediator in said debates.
In any case, it’s obvious that while Warthen has been out of the newspaper game for a few years now he still has some pull at the paper. On May 31, he tweeted, “What in the world are these UFO-looking things all along I-26?” Days later, The State ran a story answering this life-altering question under this headline: “What Are Those Green Things?” — Corey Hutchins
So, you just never know what’s going to happen, do you?
Never say never. I had a similar reaction to Facebook but now I see how useful it is to keep track of family and friends and to share photos.
I was just in a USC bookstore and saw a pad of paper with 140 empty spaces per page called a “paper tweet.”
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