‘Micro-blogs’ can cram in too much info
From iPhones to jalapeño-flavored Cheetos, Digital Slobs are ready, willing and able to jump on whatever new bandwagon comes our way, but this online "social networking" thing just rings hollow.
If you don't know what I'm talking about, you're not alone, though you might soon be made to feel that way.
Through Web sites like Twitter and Jaiku, users can keep friends/stalkers constantly stimulated via "micro-blogs." From trips to weddings to gastrointestinal processes, if you can convert it into something approaching an action verb, you can offer it to the world.
Typically, these sites permit 140 characters maximum per entry. Shakespeare could have penned his life's work in about 45 minutes. "Romeo+Juliet. XOXOXO. Feud. People die. Romeo thought sleeping Juliet was dead, kills self. She wakes up, sees him dead, kills herself. Aww."
Yet somehow, these sites have gotten a lot of press from "tech-celebs" (a level of fame somewhere between street mimes and glass blowers), in part because they provide a vehicle through which their "fans" can indirectly maintain their ego-supporting revenue streams.
Still, because I'm too cheap to buy an iPhone and I ran out of the spicy Cheetos, I thought I'd give Twitter's bare-bones-blog paradigm a try. If you happen to be between Frito-Lay products at the moment as well, feel free to read the whole thing at www.twitter.com/digitalslob. Here are some meandering, Web-grammared highlights:
3:17 p.m.: Got call at work. Car is to be towed b/c it's parked in a fire zone. Wife's saving steps, moving to new apt. Won't answer cell. Agh!
3:22 p.m.: Checking office, wondering "if a gunman came in spraying bullets, what could I use as a shield? Printer? No. Monitor? No. Ah, yes, intern."
3:28 p.m.: Car wasn't towed. Wife got back in time. I left mean message on her cell tho. Tired from moving, she's going to kill me. Where is that intern?
4:07 p.m.: Still waiting for $5,000 Segway scooter to be cool. My brother could afford one but he lives in the South. Can you get one with a gun rack?
4:14 p.m.: Large spider hovered overhead while I was at the urinal. Man, this is a stressful day.
4:18 p.m.: Condo called again. Wife borrowed moving dolly for three hours. There's a one-hour limit. Think I'll stay out of this one.
5:30 p.m.: Subway near the office ran out of honey oat bread. Had to go with Italian instead. Need to remember that so wife knows I had tough day, too.
5:37 p.m.: Wife called wanting to know why I have three years of Playboys in the storage room. I said b/c they wouldn't fit under the bed.
5:41 p.m.: Tenant left giant box of Rice Krispie treats and Nintendo 64 in new apt. Checking work calendar to see if I can take a long weekend.
5:55 p.m.: Just realized I have no knickknacks in my cubicle. Everyone else has dozens. Do they fire people based on how easy it is to clean out desks?
After my experiment, I've decided the jury is still out on "social networking," but one thing's for sure: Even restricted to 140 characters or less, it's still easy to cram in too much information.