In this weekend’s Independent on Sunday, Dom Jolly says he’s giving up Twitter, His reasons include Twitter is full of twats wasting their 140 characters on smug dullness, ‘Celebrity Twitter’ is the place for dull egos and the PM joining the Tweetfest confirms it is no longer the place to be. These are not Twitter tracks I follow. For me the joy of Twitter is tweet control. I think Jolly’s use of #betterthingstodo in relation to Twitter could be a little misleading.
On the subject of trolling Jolly does give good advice namely Do Not Feed – and there’s no doubt the current fad for Trolling is despicable but to cite ‘revolting/antisocial/shocking’ comments as a reason for abandoning the challenge of 140 characters or less is to miss out on its potential. Like all digital tools, it’s not what they are but the ways in which they’re used which increases their value.
I’m not a prolific Tweeter but when I check it’s rare not to pick up at least one link which is useful. Emails notifications saying someone is following me are checked out. It takes a couple of seconds. Anyone sounding commercial or just downright dodgy is blocked. I don’t know if that keeps the nuisance tweets down but there’s nothing worse that people boasting x thousand followers and at least of half of them being on the a commercial or enterprise bandwagon. The people I follow are those who might be genuinely useful in an educational capacity and who use Twitter professionally. Sometimes Twitter is an email substitute. There are two advantages. I know the tweet will get read and the space limit makes for concise communication. It sounds a bit like Jolly has let Twitter take control. Rather than castigate its dark side, it would be better to focus on the benefits to be had.