Back from vacation and it's grand to see that the blabosphere's obsession du jour with all things Twitter remains as rabid as ever. For a while, at least, I suppose it elbows aside the other obsession du jour--the truly distressing state of newspaperdom--at least until word of the inevitable next bankruptcy hits the wire.
But with all due respect to the armchair commentariat, I'm sure there's something more interesting to write about in the wider world of technology. You wouldn't get that impression after randomly scanning headlines on the tech news aggregation sites. That's where the usual suspects are again cluttering up the transom with their latest random brain farts about what Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone ought to do with their amazing little toy.
And I'm not letting us off the hook, either. At one point on Friday, CNET had five--count 'em, five--posts on Twitter (and unfortunately, I'm No. 6).
I can understand why certain folks might be drawn to Twitter--even to the point of pondering the existential import of Oprah's tweets, but come on already. Twitter's a terrific conversational and research tool. Still, can we get a grip?
I'm so thoroughly bored by the mandatory wide-eyed wonder that now accompanies any news event where the story is that people actually post updates on Twitter. "Wow, they're tweeting about the earthquake;" "they're tweeting about the airplane in the East River;" "they're tweeting about the bunion on the president's left toe." Blah, blah, blah.
Despite the outpouring of attention, not everyone is so enamored. I was recently at a dinner hosted by venture capitalist Bill Gurley, whose company, Benchmark Capital, is an investor in Twitter. The person sitting next to me that evening was only a few weeks into her Twitterhood. She didn't get what all the fuss was about. I did my best to convince her that Twitter was a game-changer but she wasn't buying.
Maybe in time her opinion will change, but her lukewarm response offered a reminder. A lot of serious, smart people take a more sober view of Twitter, viewing it as one (possibly useful) technology tool among others in their daily routine. They're not close to drinking the Kool-Aid, and that's something the media forgets.
Well, if Ev & Biz ever do figure out how to harness Twitter's financial potential, wonderful, that would rate as news, and at that point, I'll give a damn. Until then, I'm leaving the daily hand-wringing to others.