Alex Beam writes in the Boston Globe, Twittering with excitement? Hardly:
"You have heard about Twitter. Maybe. It's something other people do, mainly younger people. You subscribe to the service, then you can post little messages on people's cellphones, or on their instant message accounts. About nothing."Alex Beam is a columnist. In this case I guess the definition of being a columnist is being a writer who does no research.
When you read something in the newspaper, on a subject you are very familiar with, it easy to see if the writer knows what s/he is talking about. Alex does not.
Let's look at a couple of things he says in the first paragraph:
You have heard about Twitter. Maybe. It's something other people do, mainly younger people.Where are the statistics on that? I see people of all ages on twitter. It's not a question of age. That's ageism. It's a question of early adopters. They can be of any age. I'm not sure there's any way to actually know the age of twitter users. They won't even disclose the number of users.
You subscribe to the serviceActually, you sign up for the service. You subscribe to the newspaper.
...then you can post little messages on people's cellphones, or on their instant message accounts.You actually post messages using your cellphone or computer. Those messages can be viewed on a cellphone or computer. There are many ways to have the messages delivered, granted instant message is one, but SMS and web applications are others.
...About nothing.The content of twitter messages are not about nothing. I subscribe to people who write about things that I am interested in. They share links with me, alert me to news, inform me of local meetings.
Twitter is a lot more than just a place to tell people what you are doing.
There are two comments on Digg about this article:
sageone73: "Alex Beam does NO homework for this story on Twitter. He just doesn't get it."It's sad that the end of the article says this, "Alex Beam is a Globe columnist who does not twitter."
ariwriter: "Alex cites Twitter feeds that are broadcast channels, not real people with conversations. It's no wonder - and a shame - he doesn't get it."
If he actually tried Twitter, he might like it.
I'll refer Beam to this article written by Marshall Kirkpatrick of ReadWrite Web, How We Use Twitter for Journalism. Kirpatrick says:
The scoffers can scoff all they want, but here at RWW our use of Twitter so far has included:That post has 44 comments. Beam's Globe article has no comments.
- the discovery of breaking stories,
- performing interviews,
- quality assurance
- and promotion of our work.
You can't comment on Globe articles.