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Monday, March 01, 2010

BCB: Yellon: How Twitter Is Ruining Spring Training

Today I interviewed a cub in my backyard and then threw to commercial. Somebody help me.

Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a “get off my lawn” post. I like Twitter (unlike some here). I’m on Twitter, and if you follow my tweets, you know that most of them wind up either being information on when BCB posts are up, or retweets of informational bits thrown out by the various beat reporters with news about the Cubs.

And the latter is where spring training is getting ruined. (This is going to be a lot longer than 140 characters, for you Twitter aficionados.)

There’s nothing you’re getting through the tweets of Carrie Muskat, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Sun-Times, and others, that they wouldn’t have written about in previous spring trainings.

The difference is the 24/7, in-your-face nature of Twitter. When Gordo tweeted about Ryan Theriot being hit on the hand by Rafael Dolis last week, all of a sudden the blogosphere was worried! And Gordo’s tweet asked “Castro ready?”, as if a HBP in BP in February would put Theriot out for the season. (I suppose some naysayers were thinking, “Hope so!”) And when he tweeted about Angel Guzman being “shut down” for some minor shoulder discomfort, that resulted in this 80-comment BCB FanShot practically begging Jim Hendry to sign Kiko Calero. OK, not “practically” begging—actually begging, even though Calero may have the same kind of shoulder issues that Guzman might.

...In general, I believe the relentless, breathless nature of Twitter is spoiling one of the best things about spring training:

Optimism.

Repoz Posted: March 01, 2010 at 02:50 PM | 113 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: community, cubs, media

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   1. Greg K Posted: March 01, 2010 at 03:04 PM (#3470130)
If it will finally end people posting comments on online baseball forums when they should be working on a Monday morning, I am all for criminalizing twitter.
   2. GGC for Sale Posted: March 01, 2010 at 03:18 PM (#3470136)
I finally broke down and set up an account. I need to stop following Rob Bradford. He's relentless!
   3. Rickey! No. You move. Posted: March 01, 2010 at 03:31 PM (#3470142)
I'm pretty sure this guy has a point. Twitter feeds are the journalistic equivalent to statstitical false precision. You're just gushing raw fatoids out to the public randomly rather than doing your job and condensing the facts into a narrative, providing some sort of context and frame, and informing the public as to the meaning behind a set of facts. Twitter may or may not have its uses - I'm skeptical personally, but such is my standard outlook on most things - but journalism is absolutely not one of those potential uses.
   4. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 01, 2010 at 03:38 PM (#3470145)
Twitter sucks.
   5. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: March 01, 2010 at 03:40 PM (#3470147)
I have yet to sign up for a Twitter account. I'm usually an information demon but Twitter seems so limited as to be useless. Is there anything I can get on Twitter that doesn't show up on some website within a few minutes? Does Twitter automatically shoot a text message to your phone or is it just a website access thing?
   6. SoSH U at work Posted: March 01, 2010 at 03:41 PM (#3470150)
I'm pretty sure this guy has a point. Twitter feeds are the journalistic equivalent to statstitical false precision. You're just gushing raw fatoids out to the public randomly rather than doing your job and condensing the facts into a narrative, providing some sort of context and frame, and informing the public as to the meaning behind a set of facts. Twitter may or may not have its uses - I'm skeptical personally, but such is my standard outlook on most things - but journalism is absolutely not one of those potential uses.


I couldn't agree more Sam. I'm delighted that I'm no longer in the daily newspaper world where this nonsense is encouraged and instead occupy a space in the print media sector where there's no impetus to follow suit.
   7. GGC for Sale Posted: March 01, 2010 at 03:48 PM (#3470155)
I basically use it to announce when I write something else and to take playful jabs at Gleeman and Calcaterra. Rob Neyer is good to follow. So is Dayn Perry. It's funny, I have no idea if any of my IRL friends do Twitter. I just limit it to my baseball world and I'm not a huge fan of worlds colliding.
   8. Rickey! No. You move. Posted: March 01, 2010 at 04:01 PM (#3470162)
Twitter sucks.


Ironically, this is the one sort of thought-conveyance at which Twitter excels.
   9. Rickey! No. You move. Posted: March 01, 2010 at 04:03 PM (#3470164)
I couldn't agree more Sam. I'm delighted that I'm no longer in the daily newspaper world where this nonsense is encouraged and instead occupy a space in the print media sector where there's no impetus to follow suit.


I will be ecstatic for you by proxy, as well. Or as close to ecstatic as a born curmudgeon may reasonably approach. I'll be Moses looking upon the ecstatic from the hill upon which he'll die.
   10. BDC Posted: March 01, 2010 at 04:12 PM (#3470167)
Does Twitter automatically shoot a text message to your phone or is it just a website access thing?

You can set Twitter up to text you "Direct Messages" or tweets from certain people you want to follow. However, if you set it up to text a lot of different people's tweets to your phone, you'll be getting constant text messages full of inanity (though how that's different from just being a teenager I'm not certain).

I would guess that most use of Twitter on phones is via an app on iPhones or other such devices, where you can quickly see what all your followees are tweeting.

I was on Twitter for a while, still have an active account, but I found the info-to-noise ratio was about 1-to-1M. I like Jon's idea of using it for a very limited spectrum of things; maybe I could just follow raised-bed vegetable gardeners or something. When I was first following people, there was a suggestion I should follow LeVar Burton, which was a happy thought. I figured I would get insights into Patrick Stewart and Ron LeFlore. Come to find that LeVar tweets constantly about next to nothing. His last one was "My 3yo channeling #ReadingRainbow ." That's fascinating, man.
   11. villageidiom Posted: March 01, 2010 at 04:12 PM (#3470168)
It's funny, I have no idea if any of my IRL friends do Twitter. I just limit it to my baseball world and I'm not a huge fan of worlds colliding.
I'm not a Twitterer, but I can keep up with you in the local newspaper just fine.
   12. GGC for Sale Posted: March 01, 2010 at 04:19 PM (#3470177)
You know, vi, they printed my whole email; including the PS. That was supposed to be for Tambling's eyes only.
   13. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: March 01, 2010 at 04:24 PM (#3470179)
I do not Twitter, I know nobody who does Twitter (at least openly), and I know zero people who feel like their lives are less rich or full for the lack.
   14. Rickey! No. You move. Posted: March 01, 2010 at 04:30 PM (#3470184)
I was on Twitter for a while, still have an active account, but I found the info-to-noise ratio was about 1-to-1M. I like Jon's idea of using it for a very limited spectrum of things; maybe I could just follow raised-bed vegetable gardeners or something.


Man, if there were only some sort of topic based, discussion oriented format where people interested in similar things could communicate and exchange ideas. That would be a useful sort of network.
   15. villageidiom Posted: March 01, 2010 at 04:34 PM (#3470188)
I saw that, GGC. In my head I pictured either bad editing at the paper, or you going on about wearing an onion on your belt. Knowing you I was assuming the former, but the latter would've been funny.
   16. PreservedFish Posted: March 01, 2010 at 04:34 PM (#3470189)
Twitter can be kinda neat sometimes. I say this as someone without an account and with absolutely no plans to get one. A few weeks ago I ran into two celebrity chefs - wondering what the hell they were doing where I met them, I checked Twitter, and there was a sort of ant trail of clues, posts from other people that had also spotted them hours before I did, reports on where they had eaten dinner, etc.

One problem is that Twitter has so many subscribers now, if you search a popular term, 90% of your results are just retweets or garbage from troglodytes. There isn't any way to filter useful info. I searched "Hawaii" during that tsunami scare and got more people just saying things like "good luck to my cousin in Hawaii" than I did tweets from people actually in Hawaii. Theoretically this could be the best possible way to get instant fresh information about anything. I know that this is one of the great Democratizing effects of the internet, but it can also be annoying.
   17. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 01, 2010 at 04:36 PM (#3470190)
I bookmarked twitter.com, so I can just check on my tweets whenever I get around to it. I'm mildly interested in what Craig Ferguson has to tweet, but I feel no need to know RIGHT NOW what Craig Ferguson has to tweet. Roger Ebert is the best tweeter out there, I've found, but be prepared to be inundated with messages.

My problem is trying to decide what's worth a tweet, and what's worth a Facebook status update, and what's worth a blog post.
   18. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: March 01, 2010 at 04:38 PM (#3470193)
I would guess that most use of Twitter on phones is via an app on iPhones or other such devices, where you can quickly see what all your followees are tweeting.


I've got an iPhone, I have yet to read anything (here or elsewhere) that suggests I'm better off with Twitter than I am just going directly to a website.

I was on Twitter for a while, still have an active account, but I found the info-to-noise ratio was about 1-to-1M. I like Jon's idea of using it for a very limited spectrum of things; maybe I could just follow raised-bed vegetable gardeners or something. When I was first following people, there was a suggestion I should follow LeVar Burton, which was a happy thought. I figured I would get insights into Patrick Stewart and Ron LeFlore. Come to find that LeVar tweets constantly about next to nothing. His last one was "My 3yo channeling #ReadingRainbow ." That's fascinating, man.


This is my fear. It seems like Twitter is just an extension of the narcissistic stuff I get on Facebook. I can see it being pretty useful the last week of July when trade rumors are really flying but beyond that, I don't see it.
   19. GGC for Sale Posted: March 01, 2010 at 04:39 PM (#3470194)
I saw that, GGC. In my head I pictured either bad editing at the paper, or you going on about wearing an onion on your belt. Knowing you I was assuming the former, but the latter would've been funny.


He probably just cut and pasted the entire e-mail. I love that feature when they show photos like that. I can sometimes figure out what they are.
   20. Rickey! No. You move. Posted: March 01, 2010 at 04:49 PM (#3470201)
I bookmarked twitter.com, so I can just check on my tweets whenever I get around to it. I'm mildly interested in what Craig Ferguson has to tweet, but I feel no need to know RIGHT NOW what Craig Ferguson has to tweet. Roger Ebert is the best tweeter out there, I've found, but be prepared to be inundated with messages.

My problem is trying to decide what's worth a tweet, and what's worth a Facebook status update, and what's worth a blog post.


I was watching the Late Late Show episode where Ferguson interviewed Stephen Fry sans audience - fantastic television that - and their discussion of Twitter was instructive. Fry, your classic tweed-stuffed English intellectual, responds counter-intuitively to Ferguson's concerns that tweets are less intelligent forms of communication, suggesting that the 140 character limit forces the Tweeter to condense his language to the concision of poetry. I could only scream at the screen, "There aren't that many good poets in the world!" The Spartan precision of language required to generate meaning from 140 characters is beyond the grasp of most professional writers. It is the rare poet who can accomplish as much. Certainly, this sort of communication is not well suited to Jenny-down-the-block. Which is why Twitter is not an ultra-condensed stew of auto-poetic insights, but rather a vapid sea of inanity spewing forth from the masses.
   21. The Essex Snead Posted: March 01, 2010 at 04:52 PM (#3470203)
Deriding Twitter because of its users is like deriding the internet because of its users.
   22. jwb Posted: March 01, 2010 at 04:53 PM (#3470205)
Roger Ebert is the best tweeter out there
Tom Nawrocki, Have you seen the recent Esquire (Feb 16?) piece on Ebert? It's worth a read.

I can see it being pretty useful the last week of July
The multi-Twitfeed page somebody set up here at the arb deadline was very cool, but even then there was too much irrelevant (to me) information: NESN folks tweeting about the state of the Bruins, etc.
   23. GGC for Sale Posted: March 01, 2010 at 04:58 PM (#3470208)
aarongleeman

Today's realization: Twitter feed with 100 beat writers giving inning-by-inning updates for spring games is gonna be annoying. 8 minutes ago via web
   24. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 01, 2010 at 05:08 PM (#3470215)
Tom Nawrocki, Have you seen the recent Esquire (Feb 16?) piece on Ebert? It's worth a read.


I did. I even blogged about it. I didn't tweet about it or Facebook-status it, though.
   25. GGC for Sale Posted: March 01, 2010 at 05:11 PM (#3470217)
BTW, I think my Google Reader feed is a more demanding beast than my Twitter feed. Tango and Fangraphs are prolific.
   26. Craig Calcaterra Posted: March 01, 2010 at 05:15 PM (#3470218)
aarongleeman

Today's realization: Twitter feed with 100 beat writers giving inning-by-inning updates for spring games is gonna be annoying. 8 minutes ago via web


And a minute or two after that, Adam Rubin -- who was doing it -- stopped. I love the immediacy of Twitter in solving its own problems!

Seriously, though, I thought twitter was silly until I started blogging full time. Now I find it essential. Not so much as some satisfying end product -- there are like, five guys whose tweets I find entertaining or funny on their own merits -- but as a work tool which lets me get a general idea of what's going on in the baseball world. I use what I hear and/or what is linked there as a way to organize my own writing day.

Of course that's of limited value for 99.9% of the universe. I don't use twitter for social purposes, don't have friends and stuff on there or anything like that. It's basically like my office, and when I'm not working, I don't have it up.
   27. Rickey! No. You move. Posted: March 01, 2010 at 05:21 PM (#3470223)
Deriding Twitter because of its users is like deriding the internet because of its users.


And?
   28. jwb Posted: March 01, 2010 at 05:23 PM (#3470225)
I even blogged about it.
That summed it up rather nicely. U rite goud.
   29. The Essex Snead Posted: March 01, 2010 at 05:23 PM (#3470226)
And Mike Crudale.
   30. GGC for Sale Posted: March 01, 2010 at 05:28 PM (#3470229)
I was watching the Late Late Show episode where Ferguson interviewed Stephen Fry sans audience - fantastic television that - and their discussion of Twitter was instructive. Fry, your classic tweed-stuffed English intellectual, responds counter-intuitively to Ferguson's concerns that tweets are less intelligent forms of communication, suggesting that the 140 character limit forces the Tweeter to condense his language to the concision of poetry. I could only scream at the screen, "There aren't that many good poets in the world!" The Spartan precision of language required to generate meaning from 140 characters is beyond the grasp of most professional writers. It is the rare poet who can accomplish as much. Certainly, this sort of communication is not well suited to Jenny-down-the-block. Which is why Twitter is not an ultra-condensed stew of auto-poetic insights, but rather a vapid sea of inanity spewing forth from the masses.


Maybe Socrebard should Tweet.

PS - OldHossRadbourn is good. I sometimes wonder if he used to post here as Larry Bowa.
   31. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 01, 2010 at 05:31 PM (#3470235)
Deriding Twitter because of its users is like deriding the internet because of its users.


This is correct. Twitter sucks on its own merits, independently of its user base.
   32. greenback fixes the cable Posted: March 01, 2010 at 05:35 PM (#3470241)
OldHossRadbourn is good. I sometimes wonder if he used to post here as Larry Bowa.

Or he's Jack Keefe. Mike Emeigh pointed out Dirk Hayhurst's tweets, which are... strange.

Pos is pretty good at Twitter. Pos could list phone book entries and be entertaining though.
   33. GGC for Sale Posted: March 01, 2010 at 05:41 PM (#3470248)
I once recall a skit on some show that consisted of John Houseman reading the Yellow Pages.
   34. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: March 01, 2010 at 05:45 PM (#3470251)
I went through a social networking phase a year or so ago and signed up for Twitter and other things. I have never sent a tweet, and yet every month or so I get a new follower on twitter. Last I checked I had 30 or so followers and still have never sent a Tweet.

I do enjoy Facebook, but only for keeping in touch with family and friends living elsewhere. And I am ruthless in hiding people who tell me what kkind of meal they are having. And of course all facebook apps must be hidden.
   35. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 01, 2010 at 05:54 PM (#3470266)
I have never sent a tweet, and yet every month or so I get a new follower on twitter.


How many of them want you to check out their xxx pics?
   36. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 01, 2010 at 06:09 PM (#3470280)
How many of them want you to check out their xxx pics?


That's the only reason I'm on Twitter, to get people to check out my xxx pics.
   37. Steve Phillips' Hot Cougar (DrStankus) Posted: March 01, 2010 at 06:16 PM (#3470288)
I just had Fritos for breakfast.
   38. BDC Posted: March 01, 2010 at 06:30 PM (#3470298)
I am ruthless in hiding people who tell me what kind of meal they are having

LeVar Burton loves crème brûlée.
   39. Tin Angel Posted: March 01, 2010 at 06:31 PM (#3470300)
I just had Fritos for breakfast.


OMG haha me 2 :)
   40. JMPH Posted: March 01, 2010 at 06:33 PM (#3470301)
I've got the Twins beat writers' Twitters on my Google Reader (I never check Twitter itself). It's cool to get some bite-size looks into what the players are up to. Kelly Thesier (the Twins beat writer at MLB.com) will tweet links to pictures of the players taking BP or throwing, which is pretty cool. Sometimes they're useless, but it's not like they take long to read.
   41. JMPH Posted: March 01, 2010 at 06:34 PM (#3470302)
I once recall a skit on some show that consisted of John Houseman reading the Yellow Pages.

Alec Berrrrrrg.
   42. Fridas Boss Posted: March 01, 2010 at 06:35 PM (#3470303)
I'm getting a "Get off my lawn" vibe from this thread. Amusing.
   43. Cris E Posted: March 01, 2010 at 06:39 PM (#3470308)
...Dirk Hayhurst's tweets, which are... strange.

I was following him for a short time, but I dropped him when it became clear he had no handle on the difference between Twitter-sized and blog-sized thoughts. He spewed a nine part biography of someone and he was gone before I got to the fourth straight entry.

Twitter is swell, but I can't follow anyone who pumps out too much junk. Will Carroll was dropped for volume reasons, for example. In general I like people who can hear themselves, notice when they're babbling and then stop talking. But Twitter isn't good for people who have trouble with that.
   44. BDC Posted: March 01, 2010 at 06:44 PM (#3470312)
a sort of ant trail of clues, posts from other people that had also spotted them hours before I did, reports on where they had eaten dinner

I did use Twitter this way for a while. If I was in Michigan, I would tweet that, or whatever. I think my last tweet was "I'm at a mall in New Jersey." This is great in case I want to establish an alibi for any murders back in Texas. Unfortunately, it puts me under suspicion for any unsolved murders in New Jersey.
   45. GGC for Sale Posted: March 01, 2010 at 06:46 PM (#3470314)
BDC; the Steve Sax of BTF.
   46. Rickey! No. You move. Posted: March 01, 2010 at 06:48 PM (#3470318)
I'm getting a "Get off my lawn" vibe from this thread.


I proudly declared for Team GOML years ago, so there's nothing ironic there. Twitter has the same problem that blogs originally had. Too many people saying too many things without bothering to think about what they were saying. The swapping out of volume for validity, quantity for quality. Eventually, the higher quality thinkers and writers from blogging seperated themselves from the babbling masses. Twitter could eventually manage the same trick, but I have my doubts. Unlike blogging, Twitter-thinking is constrained by its formal structure. There just aren't that many people who are capable of putting together meaningful bursts of 140 characters, and the few that can navigate that task should, more often than not, put their thoughts together in longer form compositions.

Journalism, certainly, can not be "streamed" via Twitter. At best you get a sort of mass spectrum MRI of something occurring in the world. The Green Revolution, for example. But for all that is worth, it is not journalism, which requires a point of view, a frame and authorial voice capable of inserting narrative meaning into otherwise anarchic events.
   47. Rickey! No. You move. Posted: March 01, 2010 at 06:50 PM (#3470320)
LeVar Burton loves crème brûlée.


It might be entertaining for a small while to run a Twitter feed that simply re-posts the inane tweets of folks like Burton.

Burton: "I love creme brulee."

BDC: "LaVar Burton loves creme brulee."
   48. BDC Posted: March 01, 2010 at 06:50 PM (#3470321)
I just don't know when to stop talking.
   49. JMPH Posted: March 01, 2010 at 06:51 PM (#3470322)
I did use Twitter this way for a while. If I was in Michigan, I would tweet that, or whatever. I think my last tweet was “I'm at a mall in New Jersey.” This is great in case I want to establish an alibi for any murders back in Texas. Unfortunately, it puts me under suspicion for any unsolved murders in New Jersey.

My problem with using Twitter this way is that if I say I'm in California or something, suddenly anyone who wants to know can find out that I am not home and will not be home for a substantial amount of time. You're welcome, robbers!
   50. GGC for Sale Posted: March 01, 2010 at 06:54 PM (#3470326)
I had a random thought (thanks, Steve Sax!), but it was too long for Twitter:

What was the title of that Simpson’s episode where Burn’s hires ringers for the company softball team? It just occurred to me that that time that Satchel Paige hightailed it up to North Dakota to play for a car dealer wasn’t really that much different. I smell a new article.
   51. gef the talking mongoose Posted: March 01, 2010 at 06:54 PM (#3470327)
*sigh* A couple of hours ago a co-worker & I were reminded that our department is supposed to be reminding people of its existence via Facebook & Twitter posts. Gah. I'll do Facebook, but before I have anything to do with "tweeting" (what a ####### shameful noun & source verb ... anyone who employs either isn't fit to live, really) I'll shoot myself in the face.
   52. JMPH Posted: March 01, 2010 at 06:55 PM (#3470329)
What was the title of that Simpson’s episode where Burn’s hires ringers for the company softball team? It just occurred to me that that time that Satchel Paige hightailed it up to North Dakota to play for a car dealer wasn’t really that much different. I smell a new article.

Homer at the Bat.
   53. gef the talking mongoose Posted: March 01, 2010 at 06:58 PM (#3470332)
If I was in Michigan, I would tweet that,


Sad but true: BDC isn't fit to live, really.
   54. JMPH Posted: March 01, 2010 at 07:12 PM (#3470347)
(what a ####### shameful noun & source verb ... anyone who employs either isn't fit to live, really)

*quickly tries to edit previous posts*
   55. Athletic Supporter wants to move your money around Posted: March 01, 2010 at 07:15 PM (#3470354)
No mention in this thread of Ozzie's twitter? (I know, it's denigrated in the article.)

It would have been hard to live up to the hype, but I find it is adequately entertaining.
   56. The Essex Snead Posted: March 01, 2010 at 07:22 PM (#3470359)
As long as the horror that is "webinar" continues to exist (if not thrive), the use of "tweeting" is the least of the world's concerns.
   57. JMPH Posted: March 01, 2010 at 07:22 PM (#3470360)
Ozzie's tweets (deal with it) read a lot like Jack Keefe. "Texas holder"?

Which brings up the question: Why isn't Jack Keefe on Twitter?
   58. gef the talking mongoose Posted: March 01, 2010 at 07:27 PM (#3470364)
As long as the horror that is "webinar" continues to exist (if not thrive), the use of "tweeting" is the least of the world's concerns.


Truly a blood-curdlingly awful term*, but "tweet" is far, far more common, & thus exponentially more loathsome.





*Come to think of it, which is more hideous -- "webinar" or "marade"? I'm going to say the latter, simply because I've never had to edit a story that included the former. I have a hard time believing Martin Luther King Jr. would've happily sat by while some of his more addlepated supporters butchered the English language in the interest of paying tribute to him.
   59. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: March 01, 2010 at 07:30 PM (#3470366)
I do not Twitter, I know nobody who does Twitter (at least openly), and I know zero people who feel like their lives are less rich or full for the lack.

How would they know whether their lives were less rich or full without any experience with it?
   60. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: March 01, 2010 at 07:30 PM (#3470367)
My problem with using Twitter this way is that if I say I'm in California or something, suddenly anyone who wants to know can find out that I am not home and will not be home for a substantial amount of time. You're welcome, robbers!

More efficient robbing.
   61. gef the talking mongoose Posted: March 01, 2010 at 07:33 PM (#3470371)
How would they know whether their lives were less rich or full without any experience with it?


Maybe in the same way that I'm willing to go out on a limb & say that my life isn't less rich or full because I don't indulge in frequent enemas.
   62. JMPH Posted: March 01, 2010 at 07:33 PM (#3470372)
More efficient robbing.

I read about that. I find it interesting that people need to be told why it's a bad idea to broadcast your location to the world. The good that can come of it doesn't seem to carry anywhere near the magnitude of the harm it can cause.
   63. JMPH Posted: March 01, 2010 at 07:34 PM (#3470374)
Maybe in the same way that I'm willing to go out on a limb & say that my life isn't less rich or full because I don't indulge in frequent enemas.

You don't know what you're missing.
   64. Steve Phillips' Hot Cougar (DrStankus) Posted: March 01, 2010 at 07:39 PM (#3470379)
Other good ways to know if no one is home:

Watch and see when the cars leave.
   65. JMPH Posted: March 01, 2010 at 07:44 PM (#3470382)
Other good ways to know if no one is home:

Watch and see when the cars leave.


Obviously, I'm not arguing that using Twitter to broadcast your location is the only way to make yourself vulnerable to robbers. It sure makes it a hell of a lot easier for them, though, if your current distant location is delivered to them on their cell phone, saving them the trouble of a stakeout.
   66. Weeks T. Olive Posted: March 01, 2010 at 07:45 PM (#3470383)
I read about that. I find it interesting that people need to be told why it's a bad idea to broadcast your location to the world. The good that can come of it doesn't seem to carry anywhere near the magnitude of the harm it can cause.

People used to say the same thing about printing funeral notices in the paper back in the day. "Hey, Hank - Weeks is going to be at Grandpa Olive's funeral at 2:00pm on Friday. Want a new tv?"

Somehow we survived.
   67. JMPH Posted: March 01, 2010 at 07:51 PM (#3470387)
People used to say the same thing about printing funeral notices in the paper back in the day. "Hey, Hank - Weeks is going to be at Grandpa Olive's funeral at 2:00pm on Friday. Want a new tv?"

Somehow we survived.


A funeral notice in the paper accomplishes something, though--unlike someone telling the world where he is just because he feels like it.
   68. Weeks T. Olive Posted: March 01, 2010 at 07:55 PM (#3470392)
A funeral notice in the paper accomplishes something, though--unlike someone telling the world where he is just because he feels like it.

You don't think *anything* can be accomplished by telling a group of people where a person is?

What if I were tailgating at Miller Park before a game and wanted to find out quickly if any of my friends were also tailgating so that we could meet up? That accomplishes something to me.

Disclosure: I don't use Twitter. But I can see a lot of relevant uses for it.
   69. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 01, 2010 at 07:57 PM (#3470396)
Which brings up the question: Why isn't Jack Keefe on Twitter?


Because he's a gentleman of style and taste, rather than a useless ####?
   70. JMPH Posted: March 01, 2010 at 08:02 PM (#3470401)
You don't think *anything* can be accomplished by telling a group of people where a person is?

What if I were tailgating at Miller Park before a game and wanted to find out quickly if any of my friends were also tailgating so that we could meet up? That accomplishes something to me.


Let me rephrase. The funeral notice accomplishes more.

Also, I think that you can protect your Twitter feed so that only your friends can see it. That would accomplish the task you mention while eliminating my concern. I don't have anything against letting friends know where you are--it's the recklessness of telling everyone in the world that I can't wrap my head around.
   71. GGC for Sale Posted: March 01, 2010 at 08:09 PM (#3470409)
WRT funerals: Around here (Greater Hartford) there are folks who will stay at your house while you attend the wake, funeral, et cetera. Not sure if this is a nationwide thing. When my dad passed away 20 years ago a couple of volunteers did this at our house.
   72. JMPH Posted: March 01, 2010 at 08:29 PM (#3470427)
Because he's a gentleman of style and taste, rather than a useless ####?

I'm always a fan of the four-pound-sign noun. It really lets your imagination run wild.
   73. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: March 01, 2010 at 08:39 PM (#3470434)
I wanted to hate Twitter, but needed to figure it out for my job, and ended up loving it. Lists and TweetDeck make the difference, and turn it from pure noise into distilling useful information, whether from news sources or interesting/curious people.

I can't think of the last major event that I didn't hear about first through Twitter.
   74. Jay Seaver Posted: March 01, 2010 at 08:39 PM (#3470436)
I do not Twitter, I know nobody who does Twitter (at least openly), and I know zero people who feel like their lives are less rich or full for the lack.

That's unfortunate. For what it is - a way to keep broadly informed on the activities and thoughts of a great many people at once - it's one of the best tools ever created, especially now that it's easier to maintain lists so that you can segregate them by subject. It lacks depth, yes, but in some ways that's the point; you're trading it for breadth.

I (@JaySeaver) could easily live without it, but, you know, I do think my life is a tiny bit richer knowing that a friend loved a movie he just saw that might only be in town for a couple more days, that my niece just did something cute and here's a picture, that @OldHossRadbourn thinks today's players are sissies, that the ballgame I'm about to leave for has been rained out, or that Stephen Fry just thought of a silly one-liner. I wish like hell that Douglas Adams could have lived long enough to use it.

Right now, there's a lot of chaff, and there always will be. But like blogs, as the ways to use Twitter well become better-established, it's going to become more and more useful.
   75. Lassus Posted: March 01, 2010 at 08:44 PM (#3470445)
Maybe we can set up a Twitter for when BTF can't stay up, which seems about daily.
   76. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 01, 2010 at 08:45 PM (#3470447)
Right on cue, Rob Neyer just tweeted about Roger Ebert. Maybe he's reading this thread.
   77. GGC for Sale Posted: March 01, 2010 at 08:48 PM (#3470450)
Maybe we can set up a Twitter for when BTF can't stay up, which seems about daily.


I have actually done this once or twice.
   78. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: March 01, 2010 at 08:49 PM (#3470454)
Do the LOL catz have a twitter page? I might be into that.
   79. Crashburn Alley Posted: March 01, 2010 at 08:52 PM (#3470459)
@78

http://twitter.com/ICHCheezburger
   80. Gaelan Posted: March 01, 2010 at 08:53 PM (#3470462)
I (@JaySeaver) could easily live without it, but, you know, I do think my life is a tiny bit richer knowing that a friend loved a movie he just saw that might only be in town for a couple more days, that my niece just did something cute and here's a picture, that @OldHossRadbourn thinks today's players are sissies, that the ballgame I'm about to leave for has been rained out, or that Stephen Fry just thought of a silly one-liner. I wish like hell that Douglas Adams could have lived long enough to use it.


I wish I had written this. Of course if I had written this it would have satire instead of self-parody.
   81. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: March 01, 2010 at 08:55 PM (#3470465)
http://twitter.com/ICHCheezburger

Oh noes! They iz in my head keepin me from workin!
   82. Repoz Posted: March 01, 2010 at 08:55 PM (#3470466)
I like FB because I can swap James Millholin sightings with others.
   83. Lassus Posted: March 01, 2010 at 08:57 PM (#3470468)
I admit that I hate twitter, but cannot really get enough of the lolcats.
   84. BDC Posted: March 01, 2010 at 09:00 PM (#3470473)
I'm very sorry, that Burton tweet about Reading Rainbow was somebody tweeting to him. LeVar is on to bigger stuff: "This morning I met Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations. Elegant, eloquent & very chill!" That was 44 minutes ago. I'll keep everyone updated on what happens next.
   85. Crashburn Alley Posted: March 01, 2010 at 09:00 PM (#3470474)
I (@CrashburnAlley) used to be anti-Twitter myself, but I broke down and joined last July and haven't looked back. Twitter is great for promotional purposes, but I do enjoy the social aspect as well. None of my friends IRL use it, but then again I can reach them via Facebook, phone call, and text message. Twitter is less formal than e-mail, which makes for better conversations albeit in 140-character bursts. For instance, chatting with a couple other Phillies bloggers on Twitter inspired this article about why I would trade Ryan Howard. And it's a lot easier to keep up with my favorite writers without having to read everything in the RSS feed.

I think Twitter's pros far, far outweigh its cons.
   86. JMPH Posted: March 01, 2010 at 09:20 PM (#3470483)
I admit that I hate twitter, but cannot really get enough of the lolcats.

Has anyone here ever read the comments on icanhascheezburger.com? I looked once, and my head hurt for about a week.
   87. Jay Seaver Posted: March 01, 2010 at 09:26 PM (#3470487)
I wish I had written this. Of course if I had written this it would have satire instead of self-parody.

Well, I did say "tiny bit richer". Still, all that does make my life better in some small way - not in the "can't live without it" way, but certainly in "nice to have".

But, hey, that post shows you're a natural for adding empty snark to twitter; you've even left yourself 37 characters for a link to what you're being snotty about.
   88. Steve Phillips' Hot Cougar (DrStankus) Posted: March 01, 2010 at 09:58 PM (#3470512)
Has anyone here ever read the comments on icanhascheezburger.com? I looked once, and my head hurt for about a week.


I wonder how we could rank comments on the following:

Yahoo! Sports articles
ESPN articles
icanhascheezburger.com
Yahoo! Answers
average local newspaper
   89. gef the talking mongoose Posted: March 01, 2010 at 10:10 PM (#3470522)
- I do think my life is a tiny bit richer knowing that a friend loved a movie he just saw that might only be in town for a couple more days, that my niece just did something cute and here's a picture, that @OldHossRadbourn thinks today's players are sissies, that the ballgame I'm about to leave for has been rained out, or that Stephen Fry just thought of a silly one-liner.


Wow. Someone whose life is apparently even emptier than my own!
   90. Random Transaction Generator Posted: March 01, 2010 at 10:19 PM (#3470532)
I wonder how we could rank comments on the following:

Yahoo! Sports articles
ESPN articles
icanhascheezburger.com
Yahoo! Answers
average local newspaper


The two worst places for comments would be heavy-leaning political blogs (either DailyKos or FreeRepublic), and YouTube.
The political ones hurt my brain because of the single-minded hatred for the "other side".
The YouTube ones hurt my brain because of the complete and utter lack of intelligence. It's something when random porn spam comments seem more intelligent than the regular comments.
   91. JMPH Posted: March 01, 2010 at 10:19 PM (#3470534)
I wonder how we could rank comments on the following:

Yahoo! Sports articles
ESPN articles
icanhascheezburger.com
Yahoo! Answers
average local newspaper


It's not so much that the comments were rude or stupid or uninformed, it's just that they were all written in lolcat-speak, so it took about ten times longer to read than normal.
   92. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 01, 2010 at 10:22 PM (#3470535)
But like blogs, as the ways to use Twitter well become better-established, it's going to become more and more useful.


Electronic means of communication do not work that way. They start out as cool as they're ever going to get, and then degrade as scammers and spammers and ######### figure out how to game the system. Look at home landline phone calls, or e-mail, or Usenet, or MySpace... Eventually, after enough people get frustrated and bail, you see a mass exodus of users to the next big communications platform, and the cycle begins anew.
   93. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 01, 2010 at 10:23 PM (#3470536)
Yahoo! Sports articles
ESPN articles
icanhascheezburger.com
Yahoo! Answers
average local newspaper


You forgot YouTube.
   94. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: March 01, 2010 at 10:34 PM (#3470543)
Twitter serves its purpose. Key is following the right people who provide good information and not just ramble about what they are doing at all times (which I've actually done myself...mea culpa).

I'm trying to figure out how to politely "unfollow" the more annoying ones that I followed at the beginning.
   95. PerroX Posted: March 01, 2010 at 10:53 PM (#3470557)
Strawberry fields forever..
   96. flournoy Posted: March 01, 2010 at 11:32 PM (#3470582)
My cubemate met his fiancee through the Twizzler. True story. I still maintain that it is ridiculous and silly.
   97. Steve Phillips' Hot Cougar (DrStankus) Posted: March 01, 2010 at 11:37 PM (#3470586)
You have a cube mate? that sounds awful. Like two veal calves in the same pen.
   98. flournoy Posted: March 01, 2010 at 11:39 PM (#3470589)
Nah, it's good, we have big cubes.
   99. frannyzoo Posted: March 01, 2010 at 11:41 PM (#3470590)
I wonder how we could rank comments on the following:

Yahoo! Sports articles
ESPN articles
icanhascheezburger.com
Yahoo! Answers
average local newspaper


I have this idea for a new form of benevolent dictatorship that would center on Yahoo! sports article commenters. Basically it would work like this: anyone posting a comment on a Yahoo! sports article would be immediately executed.

Sure, it wouldn't solve all the world's problems, but it's a damn good start if you ask me. And you can ask me...I'm a benevolent dictator (if just given the chance).
   100. Steve Treder Posted: March 01, 2010 at 11:50 PM (#3470596)
I have this idea for a new form of benevolent dictatorship that would center on Yahoo! sports article commenters. Basically it would work like this: anyone posting a comment on a Yahoo! sports article would be immediately executed.

Sounds eminently sensible.
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