Friday, 27 March 2009

Warwick & Peace

We're having a few days R&R away from the fixed weekly grind of auctions and carboots to relax in a little farm cottage near Warwick. Yes I know we're in the middle of a recession but by definition that means we're about to be on our way out of it.

Oz & Lil have spent most of the time with their noses pressed up against the window looking longingly at the pack of farm dogs who are ranging freely amongst the barns, cattle and sheep. Oz was telling Lily that he intends to run away and become leader of this pack one day after he had given her the benefit of his scathing views on anthropomorphism.

I bought a broadband dongle last year which has never worked until today (once I discovered that the £10 prepaid voucher I bought with it self-destructs if not used within 3 months and had to buy another - they have made them like Steak & Kidney Pies). Now that I'm back in touch I can give you the benefit of my experience so far with this web 2.0 thingy.

Rather like the codicil to Parkinson's Law whereby everyone in an organization gets promoted to one level above their competence, I feel like I've found that level in Web 2.0 terms and moved one stage further than I was meant to. And that level was Twitter.

I've found Blogging to be a great way of getting things of my chest, showing off, making new imaginary friends and generally passing free time. That has lately been augmented by Facebook which is an excellent way of keeping up with the comings and goings of real and imaginary people but most importantly a brilliant way to play Scrabble. Scrabble used to be a good game ruined by the tedium of sitting scratching and frustrated whilst your opponent deliberated for hours over their tiles then spending 20 minutes arguing over the validity of their words. Facebook takes away the waiting as you can play your turn whenever you feel like it and the built in Dictionary is the arbiter which preempts all that fighting over particular words. You can even chat alongside the game.

However, I jumped into Twitter a couple of weeks ago and have just decided to jump out of it. It seems to be mini blogging by text with the "excitement" of including Stephen Bloody Fry and Jonathan Blinking Ross in your crew and knowing when they have been to the toilet or what they've had for dinner. There are some very clever and funny people reeling out lots of short punchy epigrams and also a lot of dross. I felt that I'd turned up at a sophisticated party where everyone had known each other for years and I just wanted to have a quick few swigs from the Party 7 in the kitchen before sneaking back to my bedsit.

No offence to all Twitterers but I just don't get it - each to their own and all that. Anyone fancy a 3 month long game of Scrabble?


Geoff said...

Most of Twitter is depressing but so is most blogging. The only people who interact with me on Twitter tend to be other bloggers anyway, often bloggers who rarely leave comments on my blog. I don't feel like part of the party, just someone who turns up pissed in the middle of it and starts ranting about the world to nobody in particular. I'm not in the least bit interested in what people are doing but I am interested in witty observances which you do get probably once in every 50 tweets. Fry and Ross are just really boring and say absolutely nothing humorous, but when have they ever?

KAZ said...

I felt a bit left out when I saw you were on Twitter as well as Geoff and Betty.
I intended to join up - but never got round to it - so I suppose I didn't want to really.
I like lots of pictures me.
'Deliberated for hours etc' ... over a Scrabble move. I didn't know you played against Kev.

Vicus Scurra said...

Thank you, Rog. I don't get Twitter either, although I only tried it for 10 minutes.

Dave said...

Kaz, he plays against me. I've been waiting two days for his next move.

He's very good though. He knows some four letter words.

Z said...

I don't think I'm friendly enough for Facebook. I know I'm not witty enough for Twitter. Though come to that, my blog is just an overlong Twat - that is what they call a Twitter-post, isn't it?

Rog said...

Geoff: You're much more sociable than I am, that's the answer. I'm not really a good judge of anything - I predicted the fax machine would never catch on.

Kaz: Everything about you is short then? You are keeping the flame of accessible picture blogging alive!

Vicus: We could start a Tetchy Wankers Against Twitter campaign but I can't think of an acronym.

Dave: a four letter word!

Z: So you are saying the your blog is Jeremy Clarkson?

john.g. said...

Only 40 mins away from the Merrie Monk!

Betty said...

Reading the people I'm following on Twitter is turning into a headache, particularly catching up with them all first thing in the morning. It makes so little sense that you feel as though you may as well be be reading binary code.

Beth said...

The thing about Twitter is I don't think it matters if you don't keep up with eveyone all the time. I think it's more about the stuff you just happen to catch at the time, that you might, or might not, feel like responding to.

It's probably most fun for someone who, lets say, might have a desk job which leaves them relatively underoccupied and with time on their hands from 9-5.

Just speculating, obviously, I'd be far too busy myself.

Rog said...

John: I'm getting nearer! If only I knew where it was!

Betty: I spose casual interlopers like me were the "noughts" and Stephen Fry was a "one". Ooo er Missus!

Beth: I can't imagine anyone in such a hypothetical situation! I used to have to make do with watching paint dry at my previous employment.

Malc said...

That's a relief. I was beginning to think I was the only one who didn't get Twitter. I've had it explained to me several times and I think I've just reached the age where I can't take any new stuff on board.

Rog said...

Malc: Phew. I think it is partly an age thing. If you talk in 187 character phrases you can sound deep and enigmatic.

llewtrah said...

I can't see the point of Twitter. It's like those sad sacks who are permanently hooked into their mobile phones giving people a blow-by-blow account of what they are doing.

I'm just having a poo.
I'm just wiping my ****.
I'm just pulling up my pants.
.... you get the idea.

Company rules mean Twitter would not be permitted where I work. Even Blogger gets periodically blocked (LiveJournal and Facebook are blocked). I wonder how much work time is wasted by people sending blow-by-blow accounts to Twitter when they should be working?

Lionel said...

On a point of pedantry (unlike me, I know), I think you're mixing up Parkinson's Law with the Peter Principle.