Your Social Media Thought For the Day

It’s probably indicative of something that these days, if I want to have a thought of mine preserved for eternity, I put it on my blog; if I don’t care if I ever see it again, I put it on Twitter.


39 Comments on “Your Social Media Thought For the Day”

  1. Yes.Thoughts and ideas are brief in duration, but can be the springboard for change.

  2. Whatever: expounding on the expoundable (for later compilation into a witty book).
    @scalzi: huh, what? Oy, I missed it. Next.

    There’s simple too much meaningless traffic of 140 characters or less to make Twitter a mechanism of significant or memorable milestone setting, unless it’s to announce something for further elaboration. @curiosity made you want to go see the video of rocket scientists crying, didn’t it?

  3. Well, if you can believe that anything said online never really truly goes away, even those things you don’t care if you ever see again are probably being collected as pearls. Personally, I use Twitter for weird random thoughts, Facebook for connecting with friends and family who are scattered all over the US and beyond, and my blogs for when I need to share something longer and more meaningful to me.

  4. Twitter decided some time ago that, rather than have the whole service be unavailable for brief periods of time on occasion, they were instead amenable to having a large portion of older tweets unavailable constantly, and seemingly permanently. (Can I even ask for those old tweets without a subpoena? Or even WITH one?)

    Since they clearly got more blowback for the former than the latter, this was a canny move. However, it also represents an implicit promise broken. That’s how I think of it.

    But the only “blog” that’s permanent, in my opinion, is one where it is run through a personally-managed or self-hosted application, where all of the data is exportable and portable, and where I can supervise frequent backups of the data (+ working application set) to a computer that I am personally managing. To that extent, even if I’m running a WordPress site on a VPS, it’s pretty much “disposable” if it’s not meeting the portability and backup criteria. And something like Tumblr would never, ever meet that criteria.

  5. I think it comes down to the word my. Put it on MY blog as opposed to put it on twitter, some ownerless thing that I can’t touch.

  6. Wendy Whipple:

    “Well, if you can believe that anything said online never really truly goes away”

    I didn’t say I thought it went away forever. I just said that Twitter’s the place I put stuff if I don’t want to think about it again.

    Bear in mind I don’t put anything online that I’m not comfortable with having out there until the heat death of the universe.

  7. probably because its the way my friends and I used twitter before it became a Thing, but I still see it as just mass texting and basically the same effort goes into it

  8. Twitter is not particularly friendly to searching back in the past. There’s no way to jump to, say, tweets from January 2011. You just have to keep going back further and further in your timeline manually. And for anyone who tweets with any sort of volume, that discourages going back to revisit old thoughts and comments.

    I think that’s part of why tweets have become the ephemera of social media in some ways.

  9. Heck, I’ll favorite anything I like on Twitter, and be able to read it forever after. That said, favoriting myself is kind of… well, dumb.

    I look fwd to seeing the blog archives in print someday ;)

  10. I was under the impression that the Library of Congress was keeping all the twitter drivel for all time. So that in some future, a sociology graduate student can create a thesis on ancient memes and how they reflect the inherent stupidity of ancient people when anonymous.

  11. Ideas are not short in duration. If they are any good, or rather if enough people agree then an idea can live a very long time indeed, if it ever dies.

  12. I generally use Twitter in the way I used to use Non Sequitur> on various & sundry Citadel BBSes back in the day. (Non Seq> was obviously different from Babble>, which is where people sometimes had conversations in between talking past each other.)

  13. Ha Ha Ha, nice! But seriously, I believe the lifespan of a twitter/facebook post is 3 hours. If it hasn’t had a response by then, it is dead.

  14. Well, it jibes nicely with the idea that I’m not blogging right now because I have no desire to remember the crapstorm that is currently my life…

  15. Interesting. Cause I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read a whatwitter, and headed over here to see if you posted about it.

    I am both amused and bemused (but not ceemused, cause that’s just silly) that anyone is surprised that Twitter doesn’t keep a running permanent record of what was always intended to be a stream of short, random thoughts. If you wanted to retain that idea, you shouldn’t have put it into a format called a f’king tweet.

  16. @ brianvan

    Implicit promise might be an oxymoron. But you basically hit the nail on the head which is the bugaboo of data miners everywhere: indexeing. Whatever is indexed according to Scalzi, by Scalzi and for Scalzi. Any developer who’s tried to parse another’s documentation knows that indexing is highly subjective when it exists. Twitter’s is basically nonexistent as far as the userbase is concerned. Extent and available are two different things. And unavailable to you doesn’t mean unavailable to anyone. To paraphrase Cory Doctorow, the internet is the world’s best copy machine. Of course there’s the corollary he didn’t mention (though I’ve no doubt he understands it) that the internet is the world’s most unreliable golden retriever.

    @ Jonathan Vos Post

    James Joyce fans have taken a crack at Ulysses.

    @ msobel

    If you put an rss feed in Google reader for your twitter feed, you will have a record.

    Of everything anyone says on your feed. No thanks.

    @ itsathought2

    I was under the impression that the Library of Congress was keeping all the twitter drivel for all time. So that in some future, a sociology graduate student can create a thesis on ancient memes and how they reflect the inherent stupidity of ancient people when anonymous.

    Aside from the oddly self-referential humility of your statement, you may have forgotten the rose-tinted glasses that cause everything in the past to become redshifted until the truth is an infrared blur being sucked into a singularity of not-so-cosmic censorship created by crossing the Bekenstein bound early due to the entropy of digital-rights management.

  17. If there’s an idea I don’t care if I ever see again, I tell my boss. If there’s a thought I want preserved for eternity, I … um … oh hell, I should’ve written that part down first.

  18. I find that tweeting comments about an anime as I’m watching it (or just after) helps crystallise my thinking for the blog review later.

    I may not reference the tweet directly but it is there when I write the review.

  19. This is true of both Twitter and Facebook: they are ephemeral. Of the two, Facebook is more like a conversation–albeit not a comfortable one. Think of those parties where nearly everyone ends up in the kitchen having six simultaneous conversations on different subjects while showing their baby pictures.

    Twitter, on the other hand, is like a stream of consciousness. Except it is like a stream of consciousness in a world with limited telepathy or with group minds. So this stream is a river of thought, shared among a self-selected coterie, into which you can dip at will.

    As I describe them, neither is meant for ‘the ages’. Think about it; a party conversation or a passing thought are not things you put a great deal of effort into creating, nor do you expect to retain them and discuss them over the long term. They might spark a more durable work, an essay or a story or a blog post, but they themselves are the moths and butterflies of the noosphere.

  20. “There’s a number of politicians who wish they could say the same thing.”

    Ha! Truer words were never spoken.

  21. It depends on how many follow you, because all it takes is a enough retweets and boom, you’re all over twitter. And twitter is soundbite city, which is your modern ‘journo’s’ paradise. You might want to rethink that, John. For me, non-recorded vocal may still be the only true fleeting piece of personal information.

  22. In a way, I agree with John. And more and more these days, I’m finding that I’d rather not waste my energy/ideas/thoughts on a medium that is equivalent to people texting back and forth trying to be amusing. It was fun at first, but now I’m kind of ‘meh’ about it.

  23. So,what does this say about “The Other Large Thing” short story that you twittered to the world a while back?

  24. At the risk of sounding like an old man, I find twitter to be terrible as a social tool. It’s great for disseminating information if you have a lot of followers, but unless a lot of people you know are ON twitter, it’s not really all that great. Many of my friends have twitter accounts and like me, they never actually post, they just follow the posts of others. It’s great to find out what’s going on with folks, but I find Facebook and G+ to be more useful in actually updating people I know than twitter.

    I guess partly because twitter has such an unfriendly interface in some ways. Twitter is keenly focused ON THE MOMENT. One week later, something posted on Twitter might as well have been said in the middle ages, unless a blog or facebook group picked it up. I see plenty of posts on blogs about person X tweeted this or that, but I never see that actual tweet…someone else did.

    And Tumblr…well…old man, nuff said.

  25. Bear in mind I don’t put anything online that I’m not comfortable with having out there until the heat death of the universe.

    Don’t worry, all your comments will survive that long. At the rate we’re going we will have transformed all matter (and dark matter) in the Universe into one giant hard drive with a human-sized interface. This will finish up just shortly after we ascend.

    That’s why space exploration is important: to find more matter to turn into blank media to store everyone’s Twitter comments of “OMG, I’m taking a dump!” on.

  26. Dangit, that blockquote should have ended after the first sentence.

    Whatever really needs an edit function.

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