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BW Magazine Story about Twitter


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March 23, 2007

BW Magazine Story about Twitter

Heather Green

I did a story this week for the magazine about Twitter. It's always tricky to take something that has been discussed with such depth and passion online and write about it for a more general audience. What I tried to do was explain why there was such a debate about it and waht I think that represents.

In the story I wrote that "Twitter forces into the open a basic schism--between those who want to know what everyone is doing all the time and those who are revolted at the idea of giving up that information or caring about anyone else's."

It's not a trivial debate. (Unlike the headline, which unfortunately changed after the last time I saw it.) And whatever happens to Twitter, I do think that it represents something that's here to stay because we are the information era.

10:47 AM

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Tracked on March 25, 2007 03:45 PM

Heather, I don't see where the schism is, that's such a strong word. There's a schism between people who are pro-choice and pro-life, their positions are inherently incompatible. But why should someone who hates the idea of sharing the mundane bits of their lives with the world care if others who like the idea? What harm is done to those who want to maintain privacy?

That's why I think making a controversy of this is silly. And if I were to write this up on my blog, the headline would be BusinessWeek -- All BS all the time.

And btw, who says that everything on Twitter is all trivia?

It would be like saying that every phone conversation is trivia. Well, sure some are. Maybe even most. But occasionally things that are important are discussed on the phone.

It will probably be the same for every form of communication we come up with, imho.

Of course that wouldn't make a very great headline. But it has the advantage of being true.

Aren't you guys supposed to be the ones who always get it right, and aren't we the ones who just comment on your wise thinking? :-)

Posted by: Dave Winer at March 24, 2007 01:26 PM

Dave,

Thanks for stopping by. But I think that you might be imputing something that's not in my story. I am not criticizing Twitter. I personally think this kind of service in one form or another is around to stay because it's just another evolutin of the information age.

What was interesting is how people wrestle with that and you see that in the debate online about why people should use Twitter or not. And when I spoke with folks who didn't like the idea of twitter, what many expressed was a sense of feeling like they had to expose these details about themselves and kow them about others that they considered private or mundane.

Ross Mayfield's point, though, is that the mundanity is important and has value. That's the division or schism.

Also, as I explained in my post, I don't agree with the headline and wouldn't have accepted ot. It was changed after I went home around 8:00 and that was a mistake. However, once it's out there, all I can say is that I don't agree with it.

Am I perfect? Is my goal in life to be an oracle? Now that's funny!

Posted by: Heather Green at March 26, 2007 09:51 AM


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