Twitter asks its users to sending out 140 character word updates on what their doing or thinking about, a form of expression I’m still on the fence about despite my own considerable time investment on the site. My own account is a mix of updates from fairs and museums I’m visiting, art quotes I find meaningful, as well as basic travel notes ranging from “Subway smelled like puke” and more personal accounts about losing my luggage or getting stuck in airports. Overall, the form encourages the equivalent of a thought burp, and either drives or competes with blog traffic (as far as I can tell it does both) so the network’s benefits certainly seem mixed at best.
Given the number of statements I’ve made on Twitter that aren’t meant for reblogging — at least two were written while I was intoxicated enough that my phone should have been confiscated — there doesn’t seem to be much point in discussing tweets as though they are statements thought out in the same way as material published on a blog. The medium is a little closer to broadcast, in the sense that it is more about generating discussion than it is coming up with authoritative statements. For example, last week art critic and blogger Tyler Green asked why the New York Times considered the naming of the Whitney Biennial curators news, a thought I doubt he’d publish on his blog given the amount of email he’d receive on the subject (even if the relevance of the Biennial is waining, it is clearly a story that significantly effects the careers of 80 some artists — I met countless reporters from national publications across the country during the press preview this year) But Modern Art Notes doesn’t have comments enabled, and Twitter offers a means of generating useful discussion without the burdon of comment moderation.
For my own purposes though, I’d rather just host the conversation on my blog, and reblog the occassional tweet I see generated: There’s a limit to how much discussion I can engage on a daily basis, even if Twitter does a fairly good job at slowing that rate of exchange down. Most recently said relevant tweet came from Heather Rasley who quoted a friend on the subject of Twitter, “If I’m going to be addicted to something on the internet” he said, “i’d rather it be pornography like a normal person.”
Yeah, well, me too, but like most professionals, I juggle several Internet addictions at once.