Monday, June 2, 2008

Twitter - The Pringles chips of Internet communication

I just stumbled upon the Alt Text blog written by Lore Sjöberg at Wired magazine and will be adding it to my weekly RSS diet. I actually found it through a video posted on YouTube (see below), and initially thought that it was a video blog, but it appears that he writes a column regularly for the magazine that then gets recorded as an audio podcast and occasionally posted as a video. The column is a great read, and listening to the audio while reading the blog helps to keep up with the quick and witty punchlines, but the videos include funny cartoons that really take the cake. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but nothing beats 32 frames per second even at 320x240 resolution!

Below is the video where he talks about Twitter, which is categorized as a micro-blogging site (think SMS text messages received via the Internet instead of your cell phone). Like blogging, it's easy to over-use the service and I find it near impossible to follow conversations between two people since the messages can't be linked together, but even for its short comings I could imagine situations where Twitter is the right tool for the job. Lore points out a key issue with Twitter and online social networking in general (watch the video to figure it out), and manages to get a few great laughs all in under 5 minutes. Plus he has a Questionable Content comic open on one of his monitors in the background, which gives him mad props in my book.

Here is the link to the video and the blog text:

Check out some of the other Wired: Alt Text videos that range on topics from comparing Optical Illusions to rating Superheroines and Logical Fallacies. If you like them, subscribe to their blog and help me start a petition to have them create more video posts.

As for twitter, if you are using it Robert Scoble recommends checking out, which allows you to combine feeds from many popular online sources to create a single threaded conversation (think of it as a personal youtube, flickr, twitter, blogger,, reddit, pandora, netflix aggregator that you can make public). More info here, here, and here.

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