Like many other cultural phenomena, I didn’t understand why “the masses” like Twitter (and admittedly, I still may not understand it as many choose to use it), but something finally dawned on me recently.
The only reason I still have a MySpace is to keep up with my favorite bands. The picture I have on there is from November 2007, if my memory serves me, and I always just feel sorta icky, like I’m walking through a back-alley downtown or something. Anyway, every few days I’ll log in and see if any artists have posted new blogs for details regarding upcoming records and tours and general happenings. I’ve communicated with a real person on MySpace maybe twice in the past year, so every time the procedure literally is
- Log in
- See all friend requests and deny
- Check bands’ blogs
- Maybe glance at bulletins to see other artist news
- Log out
(and I only do step two because I like things to be orderly and don’t like leaving loose ends untied).
Then one day I went to a favorite band’s Twitter because there was a link to it or something. I realized they update it a lot more frequently than that antiquated MySpace blog, even if it’s not always interesting or chock full of detail. Then I noticed you can subscribe to their feed via RSS. Light bulb. I have a totally passive way of keeping up-to-date without even having to deal with all the solicitations I’m bombarded with on my dusty and stale MySpace account.
Truthfully, to me the best part is that I can truly spectate from afar since I can receive updates without having to create an account. People could stalk me enough without them explicitly “following” me, and I deal with enough cryptic short-hand and encoded text every day at work. While a good 60% or more of band tweets are pointless things I don’t really even care to know, the system is still working out pretty well. I’ve found out about new songs posted, interviews, and shows without having to do a thing and in a much more timely fashion than the regular routine.
So it turns out Twitter isn’t totally pointless. Just mostly.