Fannin's Place

MMC6612, Fall 2010

Twitter experience

with 7 comments

It has been a totally fresh experience for me to use the Twitter, and the first impression of it is that Twitter is really hard to distinguish the time line. After I join about 26 following of my interested topics, there is a flood over my twitter’s home page, compiling several unrelated short messages and even strangers responses to those I followed. I feel evaded, no privacy and wish those face don’t shows up on my home page.

According to Grossman(2009), Twitter is ” free, highly mobile, very personal and very quick. It’s also built to spread, and fast.” I gradually understand that the UGC platform is just like an empty bulletin awaits everyone to post something on the wall and construct another meaning of discourse. In fact, Shepherd(2009) also mention that “UGC furnishes a platform for free expression, thereby increasing the diversity of viewpoints that become publicly available.” I agree with Grossman and Shepherd that the opinion freedom is the merit on Twitter but I am also confused about the series of text listed on my homepage that are so mixed and without connections. If we are allowed to talk everything, then actually there will not be a censor to verify the validity of our free speech, so who will be the gatekeeper? The broadcasting on Twitter is not only vernacular between friends and boring jokes but contains millions of open messages, implies that each one of us could be an anchor. However, how serious do people look at this issue?

I’ve follow my favorite shows, some celebrities, and opinion leaders, even Walmart Special on my Twitter. If you asked me, do I care about political issue on Twitter, I will definitely say no. I concern about Lady Gaga, Roger Federer, and Tyra Banks. Shepherd is right, Twitter is indeed a public relation tool for those celebrities to keep alive in the mass. Because people love gossip and tabloid news, and that’s exactly why I follow those celebrities and try to gain connections to them.

So, how do we explain the “Iran Protests”? In my opinion, I believe Twitter is absolutely a space for free speech and an open area for citizens to express their public opinion, or any feelings. But, once encounter with some serious event such as the Iran Protest, not everyone will take this topic seriously, nor everyone will take their tweet as an important announcement. Maybe there is a scarcely of people post solemn opinion about politics but still, how can we elaborate a meaningful discussion within 140 words? Democracy gives us spacious liberty to express, but how do we use this privilege to describe or share our life with others? By tweet a “ how about brunch” message? I don’t think so.

p.s. Here is an article compare Twitter and Plurk, if you do use Twitter and you are frustrated for the tweet time line, please check out this link.

For record, my Twitter account is @fanninchen.


Written by fanninchen

September 19, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

7 Responses

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  1. I am really curious of what people like about Twitter as well. The “free, highly mobile, very personal and very quick” characteristics about Twitter obviously are not the factors that make Twitter unique and appealing because Facebook owns everything it has and everything it doesn’t. One way to explain this phenomenon might be that first impressions are always prior and firmly entrenched. That is to say the first social media site people use is more likely to have a stronger impact on them than those experienced later on. Otherwise there is no reason to convince me that Twitter should be atop the social media list.

    Shine Lyui

    September 21, 2010 at 5:08 pm

  2. I think it’s interesting that you mentioned Lady Gaga in particular. I followed her as well and I wanted to talk about her in my blog but kind of ran out of space. She seems to be using her Twitter for much more than just self-promotion. She’s been tweeting senators and other political figures and sharing videos that her fans have been making in protest of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. So she’s encouraging political thought and action amongst her fans and she’s sharing her and their views with not just the senators but with anyone reading her Twitter that can very quickly click on a link she shares. I’ve seen other celebrities on Twitter using their image and the ability of Twitter to reach a large number of people in order to talk about charities and I’ve then seen these charities receive huge donations.

    Certainly the celebrity self-promotion is happening, as are everyday people making sort of banal observations (but I’ve seen people have debates and share news and other things too). I think that’s okay. But I think there are other things being done and though not all become as high-profile as the Iran event, not all are as short-lived either. It’s a medium so huge it might be hard for us to take an accurate picture of it, and I think it’s one that is growing rapidly and unpredictably – I see it growing lots of arms doing all kinds of different things, some with reaches farther than others, but still out there.

    I’ve also been using Twitter for a while though, but that isn’t to say that you’ll change your mind if you keep using it.

    Kayley Thomas

    September 22, 2010 at 8:57 pm

  3. I totally agree with your opinion about “a meaningful discussion within 140 words.” I do not think most uses of Twitter would take their tweet serious. Even take my followings of some journalists for instance, before following them, I thought journalists who will tweet something professional and meaningful. However, most of their tweets are about their personal life. Maybe even for them, Twitter cannot be counted as a stage showing their speciality in career.


    September 23, 2010 at 6:20 pm

  4. I was confused about the time line too, thank you so much for sharing the link about the article compare Twitter and Plurk! Probably some celebrities are performing as part of their careers on Twitter or whatever, but I don’t care about that and I’m sure people like to read their tweets. I wish some of them could tweet more often, like my favorite actor Paul Walker. Anyway, I don’t think Twitter is an ideal place to have serious discussion, but it’s a perfect one to disseminate information.


    September 23, 2010 at 6:27 pm

  5. I’m glad you mentioned Grossman’s comment about Twitter being built to spread quickly, because I meant to mention that in my own blog post and forgot! I thought when I read that line that Twitter does spread quickly, sort of like a virus… or like the “grapevine” game I used to play as a kid. Did you ever do that in school? You start by whispering one random sentence in the ear of one child, and each child passes it along to the next until it’s gone all the way around the classroom. Inevitably the last child to repeat the sentence is saying something entirely different than what the first one said! And that, to me, is Twitter in a nutshell. Sure, it can be a forum for free expression, but how seriously can/should we take anything that spreads like a virus? And like you said, how much can we really say in 140 characters?

    Wendy Brunner

    September 24, 2010 at 1:27 am

  6. Good post!

    “Who will be the gatekeeper?” YOU! By choosing to follow (and un-follow) people on Twitter, you control the stream of tweets. If somebody tweets too often, or you don’t enjoy what she’s saying, just un-follow her.

    I agree with you that it’s probably impossible to have meaningful deliberation in 140 characters. Plurk sounds like it would be better for that, but then, I never heard of Plurk until this minute!

    I follow a lot of journalists and media organizations on Twitter, so for me it is like a continuous information feed.

    Mindy McAdams

    September 26, 2010 at 8:16 pm

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