In one of my classes, we’ve been discussing social networking and what it provides people. Twitter is an interesting case because its structure is so minimal. You’re limited to a few characters and the action of following or being followed. Compared to the multi-media competition of Facebook, Twitter seems useless. When I first got one, I didn’t really know what to do with it. Perhaps it’s due to my lack of a smart phone, but I really don’t have any use for Twitter.
Given the Occupy Movement’s focus on self-mass media, we’ve been talking a lot in class about how this is changing the format of news. While I don’t consider the often anonymous, haphazard form of tweeting and digital word-of-mouth to be comparable to “news” we did have a good discussion about how news has found its way into arenas like Twitter. You can tweet anything you want. So, Twitter really shows us what we’re choosing to talk about. How much of our banter is news-based?
A recent, short-term study of tweets, or posts, on Twitter deemed 40% of them are “pointless babble.” 37.5% were deemed conversational and 8.7% as having pass-along (news) value. Self-promotion and spam stood at 5.85% and 3.75% respectively.
So, collectively, spam and self-promotion outweigh the news. Thanks, Twitter. Just one more reason why I’m slowing losing faith in modern media to do anything but distract us.