All Things Digital’s Media Memo reproduces two presentations software architect Jacob Harris gave to staff of the New York Times. Twitter is “a good place for making fun of yourself or others,” he tells them. He admits that Twitter is “stupid,” but “the right kind of stupid,” because “the stupid and the trivial are the social glue of conversation.” Also, he mentions its newsworthy features, as in the coverage of Mumbai, though he cautions that most of the Mumbai tweets “weren’t news” (cf. “Just kill those bastards”). But it’s a good way to spread news, with the Times logo, and that really seems to be the pitch.
Meanwhile the TruliaBlog offers 10 Twitter Tips for real estate agents, e.g., “As a real estate agent, you should twitter the following things whenever you can: ‘Just got a closing in City, State,’ ‘Just got an offer in City, State’… This will inspire people who care about those areas or real estate in those areas to follow you.” Also, “Keep it social, don’t think of it as work.”
These are cheerful, optimistic assessments from a paper and an industry that are both in deep shit. But a salesman’s got to dream, boy; it goes with the territory. And if it doesn’t work out, someone will create a new technology upon which we can place our hopes.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 28, 2009