I’ve been looking through what I’ve got of the archive of my old blog, and discovered a post from January 2008 explaining my puzzlement about what were then the new social media
I’m not entirely sure I get the whole social networking thing. Facebook, as I mentioned in a comment the other day, leaves me feeling pretty bewildered.
Prompted by this article, I thought I’d have a look at twitter, so I have an account, but twitter is even more puzzling than Facebook.
Am I too old? Can someone explain to me how this might be useful. Short, simple sentences would be best!
The responses from my readers are still fascinating. It’s easy to forget how these things seemed when they first appeared. One blogger seemed to have got the measure of things fairly quickly:
Twitter is a social medium. Facebook is a social habitat. Twitter is a new breed of Web site/service that grew out of blogging. Facebook is a walled garden: a place you have to go to be social in the ways it facilitates and permits. In this respect Facebook is AOL 2.0. By calling both “social media” we blur distinctions that are necessary for making sense of highly varied progress (or movement in less positive directions) in the online world.
Another had clearly delved deeply into Twitter:
Twitter is like this amazing experiment in communal non-sequiturs. You experiment with language. There’s maybe four kinds of twitter accounts: ones that are basically The Dullest Blog in the World without the irony, ones that are entirely impenetrable if you don’t know the person, ones which are basically wholly “hey look at this link” posts, and ones which post wonderful three-dimensional zen truthnuggets. I like the zen truthnuggets.
What about you? What are your recollections of the early days of social media?