Twitter Takes Over The World (Because There’s Nothing Newer Yet)

Another week, another article about some amazing new communications tool and how it’s changing our lives, like, forever!

This time, we’re meant to look at the deeper meaning of a new technology that’s bringing people closer together, changing the face of advertising and marketing, and even helping make the world a better, safer place.

Per The New York Times:

Here is the beginning of a personal medium which will—in a generation—be as important as any mass medium is today: for back-fence gossiping; for word-of-mouth selling; for citizen participation in fighting crime without getting overly ‘involved’; for remote parental control; for two-step opinion information.

So wrote William Safire about CB Radio on June 17, 1976. (Fun fact: That editorial ran about a month shy of John McCain’s 40th birthday!) But who doesn’t catch the whiff of sure-to-date badly exuberance when reading contemporary journalists falling all over themselves to breathlessly report on Twitter?

If it seems like every week there’s a new story on how great Twitter is, that’s because every week there is a new story about how great Twitter is. Seriously, isn’t it time we declare Twitter fatigue (‘fatwigue’) and put this new toy in the same cupboard as Usenet, (Blue-) “Toothing,” and Friedster?

Yesterday The New York Times Magazine‘s Clive Thompson offered “Brave New World of Digital Intimacy,” in which he reads the tweets in the coal mine (and looks deep into the face of Facebook’s News Feed feature) and sees:

a boom in tools for ‘microblogging’: posting frequent tiny updates on what you’re doing. The phenomenon is quite different from what we normally think of as blogging, because a blog post is usually a written piece, sometimes quite long: a statement of opinion, a story, an analysis. But these new updates are something different.

Yes, they are. They are helping companies better serve you—and sell you—according to BusinessWeek‘s Rachel King, who reported “How Companies Use Twitter to Bolster Their Brands” from September 6th.

Twitter’s not just changing advertising and serving business interests, it’s changing democracy and the way we’re electing this year’s president according to The Washington Post‘s Howard Kurtz who filed “Political Coverage That’s All a-Twitter” on August 26th, in which he claimed “Tweets may be particularly well suited for highly scripted political conventions, where what passes for news is anecdotal and can evaporate within minutes.”

But you already knew technology was changing elections, right? As The Times‘ Mr. Safire wrote in 32 years ago:

But let me not sail off into ‘I see a day.’ Here and now, we will find imaginative new uses for this most democratic intercourse. On Election Day this, I’ll be ‘on the side’ (monitoring the channel) when some woman will say, ‘I would be voting for Reagan today, but I’ve got nobody to watch the kids.’ I’ll mash my mike button and say ‘Breakety break, this is KHT 1776. I’ll be right over, lady—and it’s 80-8’s around the house.’

Or he could just Tweet it.

Twitter Takes Over The World (Because There’s Nothing Newer Yet)