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Mundane Tweets Show Why Twitter Is Great


As someone who uses and love Twitter, I've spent quite a bit of time responding to the criticism that Twitter is filled with self-absorbed people sharing the minutiae of their daily lives. When someone tells me they don't want to try Twitter because they don't care what someone else had for lunch, I explain that Twitter is much more than the mundane, but I can't do so without some embarrassment for the seemingly mindless and often profane tweets that dominate the public timeline.

Recently I realized these mundane tweets are nothing to be embarrassed about. In fact they should be embraced as the very thing that indicates how great Twitter can be.

My change of heart was initiated by a tweet from @ExtensionGuy in which he shared a link to a conversation between Steven Johnson and Kevin Kelly documented in Wired magazine. Both Johnson and Kelly have written about great ideas and the environments that produce them.Their most recent books (Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson and What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly) are full of exciting ways to think about innovation and technology, but one exchange from the conversation linked above really struck me.

One of the ideas in Kelly's book, What Technology Wants, is that technology wants increasing diversity. Johnson picked up on that idea in their conversation and added to it:

"I was particularly taken with your idea that technology wants increasing diversity—which is what I think also happens in biological systems, as the adjacent possible (link added) becomes larger with each innovation. As tech critics, I think we have to keep this in mind, because when you expand the diversity of a system, that leads to an increase in great things and an increase in crap."

The idea that diversity leads to more crap hadn't previously escaped me. What I had ignored in the past was that diversity and the crap that comes with it are necessary for an increase in great things. Kelly cites television as an example of this phenomenon:

"Ten years ago, I was arguing that the problem with TV was that there wasn’t enough bad TV. Making TV was so expensive that accountants prevented it from becoming really crappy—or really great. It was all mediocre. But that was before YouTube. Now there is great TV!"

So the crap on Twitter isn't a reason to stay away; it's the reason to dive in. The mundane, inane and profane demonstrate the incredible diversity of the Twitter network, and that diversity leads to an increase of great things. Things like the formation of new communities, the building of relationships, the sharing of new ideas and the creation of a diverse environment that makes possible the magnificent and the mundane.
 
 
 
 
Comments:

thanks for sharing and good article

Posted by tempat tidur anak on December 02, 2013 at 07:02 AM CST #

What Technology Wants, is that technology wants increasing diversity. Johnson picked up on that idea in their conversation

Posted by mebel jati on December 02, 2013 at 07:03 AM CST #

Should there be another persuasive post you can share next time, I’ll be surely waiting for it.

Posted by free netflix on January 07, 2014 at 12:28 AM CST #

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Author: Julie

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