About a eighteen months ago, your blogger encountered the word "twitter" in an online thread. And after Googling for more information discovered that there was a new fad sweeping the Internet. It seemed to be an application that allowed one to post and/or SMS subject lines all around the world. I read about it, investigated the Twitter site ... Why bother? I thought ... I decided to take the Sam Goldwyn option(1) on Twitter.
But since that first mention, the word "twitter" has spread, at first via the Internet, into blogs and then into mainstream media. Soon I was hearing about it on radio and TV. Newspapers were all atwitter with news about Twitter.
There have been times when your blogger has had to revise his opinions of new technology. For example:
The world wide web: Yes your humble blogger shared Bill Gates opinion of the Internet as a passing fad that would never really amount to much.
Mobile phones: My not so humble opinion was that they were too bulky, too intrusive and when you needed them they had no battery charge or no network coverage.
Perl: Your humble blogger was quite content with awk, shell, and the other standard Unix commands and didn't see the need to learn the syntax for yet another interpreter.
Style sheets: Your humble blogger thought that these were an unnecessary extra layer of complexity, and further, advocated for simple website design (KISS), and did not see the need for such tom-foolery.
Blogs: Your humble blogger could not see why any one would bother writing in a blog. Why not just write an article or a few emails?
On these and many other occasions your blogger has had to take his place at a rude melamine table and eat his own words, baked into a plain pastry crust, while the waiter, a penguin with a silver tray inquires Would sir care for some open sauce with that humble pie?
And so, you can appreciate why your blogger was beginning to wonder if he might have to eat his words in the matter of this new Internet craze. The twitterverse was expanding rapidly. Radio broadcasters, journalists, celebrities, wannabes and nobodies were all twittering. Newspapers, radio stations and various specialist groups were tweeting and or twexting. People were sharing pictures, and breaking news. Spin-off sites were adding extra information. New nouns were being verbed, and verbs were being nouned.
The pressure was building to investigate the twitter phenomenon.
The rush to adopt the new technology has resulted in some remarkable media events. Some of them successes (2), and some of them rather inauspicious.
Apart from some of the bad news about accounts being hacked and outages. There was the story of Ashton Kutcher versus CNN, which was published in the mainstream media. This was competition between a Hollywood celebrity and the CNN network to see who would be the first Twitter user to have 1 million people signed up to follow tweets.
And recently Oprah devoted a show to Twitter. This was the mainest of mainstream exposure for Twitter And it occurred just when your humble blogger was on the verge of investigating twitter. It was then that many bloggers pronounced a shark jumping milestone for Twitter.
With great relief your humble blogger settled back to await the next Internet fad.
Sam Goldwyn, the famous Hollywood mogul, is supposed to have said, You can include me out. But according to some sources on the Internet he never said it! But just as Humphrey Bogart never actually said the exact phrase "Play it again, Sam", I'm sure that Goldwyn said something similar to "include me out", in spirit if not to the letter.
In all fairness, yours humbly must admit that Twitter seems to have served an important community service of keeping CFA volunteers in touch during the Black Saturday Bush Fires. And there are other incidents of disasters where Twitter has proved to be an effective tool for instant communication.