I first heard about Twitter three years ago when I was sitting in my Soho office and asked a colleague what this ‘Twitter’ thing was. “Oh, just something stupid where you tell people in less than 140 characters what you’re doing”.
Well, sod that I thought. Who wants to hear about people getting on trains, recovering from a hangover or talking about fucking cake? Even so, being a zeitgeist-addict, I fiddled with it, set up a page and thought no more about it.
Then, I received notifications of my first two followers: Mike Butcher of TechCrunch and Justin Pearse now editor of New Media Age. Ah-ha, if those two little genii are using it, then I’d better find out more about it.
Then I went to India for two years and used Facebook as my social media favourite until gradually migrating over to Twitter because I found the latter was taking me through the so-called World Wide Web where I had been previously imprisoned by my bookmarks. It was showing me things; Facebook was just showing me, me, me.
Three years on, I believe it has completely revolutionised the way I think, the way I interact and how I learn. I follow some extraordinary people and I try my best to inform my followers about this great big ugly world. I try not to show off too much and I consider myself a newspaper (but will NEVER post astrology EVER).
So, this week’s news that Twitter has a new CEO sent shivers down my tweets because Twitter’s present meritocracy is likely to be changed by preferred followers and the like. This is a natural cycle in a company’s progression but it still worries me.
Large companies naturally have more budget than individuals to position themselves on this channel, but the new Twitter CEO should be thinking about the individuals who have turned this channel into a modern-day salon where ideas and conversations concentrate on the highest of brows.
So if (INSERT EVIL CORPORATION NAME) dangles cash in front of Mr Dick Costolo, I’d suggest he look at the mavens within his channel and reward them for making Twitter what it is. Give them incentives, pay them for their good work and make writing a viable career again for the great writers and journalists who have suffered these past three years. I, for one, would be up for it. Haha.
See you next Friday or (naturally) on Twitter