Please explain to me why my dry-cleaners has a Twitter Feed and Facebook page. I can, of course, see how a program like "Coats for Kids" could benefit from the added cheer-leading that a few well-chosen tweets provide.
On the other hand, as a reluctant and recent Twitterer, I feared that Puritan is drifting from the stolidity and humility of their New-England namesakes by falling prey to the Gartner Group's hype cycle for new technologies. Second Life users know this well. We SLers are climbing out of stage 3, the "Trough of Disillusionment" and staggering up stage 4, "The Slope of Enlightenment."
The company is clearly riding high on stage 1, "The Peak of Inflated Expectations." Three years ago, Puritan would have a created a storefront in SL, then pulled out when they realized that SL is not a place to launder shirts.
Yes, and SL was to make all of us zillionaires selling...um, something...in 2006, just as protologyinthehome.com would in 1999.
Such hyperbole is antithetical to the academic mind, with its rather staid manner of vetting every source, considering every point, and taking one's time to say a whole lot, lest one be labeled a dilettante. We don't think in 140 characters; we think in 140 pages of text.
We profs don't look kindly on dabblers. And Twitter is a technology of dabbling, of telling one's circle what one had for lunch or other minutiae. Consider my last two tweets:
- "Checking Twitter feed for my dry-cleaners. Cat has a hairball."
- "Began reading Coming of Age in Second Life. Outstanding! Had broasted weasels for lunch. Tasty but needed more sauce."
Now if they found a great tapas place in Madrid, I'd be all ears (or stomach).
Next up: More on those 140 characters, Sven Birkerts, and tweeting barbarians eroding our language and, hence, our Gutenberg World.
I'll tweet when it's done.