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A Photographer • Graphic Designer • Illustrator • Typographer • Teacher • Creating effective visual messages since 1965

© 2016 George Lottermoser • All rights reserved

“buzz” in world all a twitter

by imagist on December 12, 2008

…the age of Photography corresponds precisely to the explosion of the private into the public, or rather into the creation of a new social value, which is the publicity of the private.” Roland Barthes, 1980

(click images for larger view)

So I opened my virtual eyes/ears to the twittering world; the virtual equivalent to walking into a room full of people; some you may know; some you’ve never met. Two weeks into this world of tweets, I still wonder if the time it takes to sift through the noise is worth harvesting a few charming voices and remarkable links they provide. But then I have a similar reaction at live networking events. I don’t consider myself antisocial; rather I like my socializing to feel rich and worthwhile.

Many of these twittering people seem to do it virtually 24/7. As in any social situation some of the people I’ve chosen to “follow” have valuable things to say and share; while others seem to feed a need to hear (or read) their own words between sharing useful or valuable information. One of several odd feelings I’ve experienced: invisibility when I’ve attempted to make connections; to “speak,” as in “reply,” to a number of those I follow; and my replies appear lost in cyberspace. Quite unlike a live networking event.

Another odd feeling I experience: akin to listening to one side of a phone conversation which I’m not meant to hear. Then all of a sudden a designer will drop a link to a fabulous collection of art; or a Non-Profit will alert me to a petition worth signing or some other worthy cause; only to return to what seems like hours of needless tweeting and chirping. Except, it’s not like birds in the trees. I feel a need to read (or at least scan) each tweet — in case I miss something of value. Puzzled. Reading. Listening. Looking.

How do you feel about the “new social media;” and how it fits or doesn’t fit into your life?
I’d love to hear your comments here or Twitter Imagist.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

jeremy December 12, 2008 at 1:50 am

George –
Well written article, very interesting to see your take on twitter. I can agree with you in that it amazes me how so many people I follow seem to do nothing else but twitter through the workday and still manage to be amazingly productive in that most of them are extremely successful. I think there is a very delicate balance that ones needs to create to fully realize the benefit of social networking sites such as twitter. It is a process, an adaptation to how you work else twitter becomes the equivalent of the counter productive chatter that goes on in so many large office spaces. It takes time to learn this balance but from my experience if achieved the benefit far outweighs the short comings.

Interaction with others – It is a fickle matter this interaction through social networking. Some need to gain confidence or “trust” in you, something you see accross all social networks. Others pick and choose whom they reply to based on the right here, right now benefit. Much the same way that offline social and networking groups work. There is always going to be that person that does not see any gain to be had by interacting with you, but you have to take the good with the bad. Chances are you will continue to follow because, regardless of their arrogance they still have useful information that you want and need.

Lastly regarding “those that feel the need to hear (or read) their own writing…”. This little bit of frustration right here may be holding you back from realizing that next level of benefit to social media networking. This is where the younger generation prevails and the older either adapt or abandon. Making it personal is part of the package. You will hear it preached by marketers and social networking guru’s alike, it’s what is referred to as transparency. The fact that you are at Starbucks downing your third coffee of the day, may in fact not be all that interesting but it is how people begin to make that personal connection. By revealing bits and pieces of the “personal” side you start to become approachable as “friend”.

My suggestion is stick with, it’ll come around for you.

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Carlos Lorenzo December 12, 2008 at 11:05 pm

I share with you that feeling of invisibility. I read the above comment and I agree with Jeremy in several points. I understand his reasoning and most of all I support his advice, stick with it. But that doesn’t mean it is not depressing sometimes. We see a bunch of people engaged in multilevel conversations, on and on. I can even hear them laughing and having fun. You know, as if they were having some kind of private party. And then you modestly, politely show up and say something nice to break the ice and you can feel the stern look: “who’s this guy?” I am exaggerating perhaps. But that’s the idea. Maybe it is something that we said, maybe we don’t know the right vocabulary, or we are not backed by a good PR, etc. As you say, this is a vast room and it is hard to communicate. I think that the same that happens in the real world (yes, there is!) takes place in Twitter. You either connect easily, are extroverted, sell yourself very well or are shy, weird and lack charisma. There are lots of different people in between of course. If you are more of the latter like me you don’t have to sink and accept the inevitable. Long ago I learned to overcome my natural shyness but I imposing myself social activities. I digress. What I mean is, there’s a chance that someone is interested in what you say. You just have to pull the right strings. I heard your cry today. It could have been anyone else. People change, specially their mood changes, you know that. We are not perfect. We love, we hate, we envy, we crave for stuff, we get angry, we like to socialize at certain moments or we want to be left alone some other time. All of that is cast on twitter. Can you imagine all those billions of people releasing all that stuff in there? Marvelous and scary. So I feel fortunate when someone at least reads what I say and send back something interesting to say. I dedicate them some seconds of my time if they are able to attract my attention of course. You know what I really hate, big shots, that just talk to people who may bring them followers or money. Those that Jeremy mentions: “Chances are you will continue to follow because, regardless of their arrogance they still have useful information that you want and need”. The fact that you are winning big money does not mean you have to ignore all those people. It is true they have less time but they certainly know they are ignoring tons of people simply because they are not useful. They are your followers for Christ sake, treat them with respect. There are wonderful people too. You can see they have more or less the same amount of followers as he/she follows in spite of being a twitterati. Well, George I hope that my rant helps. You are not alone and someone may care. You’ve got a fellow twitter in Barcelona. Next time pull the same string 🙂

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