Friday, April 20, 2012

Twitter time

After last night's by-election results were in, I had a twitterverse exchange with CKNW's Shane Woodford:
Woodford:
The big question in Chilliwack Hope is, can the bcndp keep the seat when we go to a Prov. elxn next year?
Farrell:
Maybe the question is "Why did/does MSM underestimate/ignore public anger over ethical failures of BC Libs?"
Woodford:
that's crap pure and simple I hate the rag on the "MSM" crap it's tea bag in the ocean weak
Farrell:
Which part crap? Ethical failures? Public anger? MSM downplaying both?
Otherwise occupied, I didn't bother with broadcasts of play by play analysis during the vote count but I did enjoy twitter feeds discussing the outcome. There is something seductive about a form that limits communications to 140 characters.

I'm reminded of Dr. Johnson's words,
"Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully."
Were he around today, Samuel J. might have written,
"Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows his message is to be unmercifully abridged, it focuses his missive marvellously."
Twitter is an art, art not particularly indicated in the exchange noted above. The microblogging service began in 2006 and I managed to ignore it for five years. I now see its power and I've moved from John Stewart's position:
"For the uninitiated, here’s how Twitter works – I have no f***ing idea. I have no idea how it works – or why it is"
to that of Harvard law professor and Internet expert Jonathan Zittrain:
“The qualities that make Twitter seem inane and half-baked are what makes it so powerful”
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5 comments:

  1. "that's crap pure and simple I hate the rag on the "MSM" crap it's tea bag in the ocean weak"

    Actually Shane, "teabag in the ocean weak" is a very good descriptor of what CKNW has devolved into. Perhaps you'd like to share a list of some of the investigative reporting and major exclusives you've broken as a reporter on "BC's Newsleader" in the past few months.

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  2. Woodford demonstrates his ignorance in the essence of his annoyance. He truly is like Dylan's Mr Jones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Twitter, in addition to focusing your thoughts, also reveals them. The ability and temptation to reply instantly, as Mr Woodford did, is a window onto the soul - and biases - of the tweeter.

      There have been numerous times I have witnessed revealing tweets by major journalists & politicians that have changed my opinion of them, both for good and ill.

      (If I was his boss I would forbid Bill Good from being allowed anywhere near Twitter. His bullying, dismissive nature comes across VERY clearly).

      Delete
  3. Another reason I have stopped listening to 'NW, the likes of Shane Woodford.

    Crap and right wing crap is all we get from CORUS; there is no news, just Fraser Institute nonsnese dressed up in drag. Adiós "NW, it was nice knowin ya, alas, your time has come to an end.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Brava Norman, Brava. Well done- you accomplished in so few words what many have not been able to do in copious writings. Tip of the hat to you!

    ReplyDelete

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