Tumbling and twittering

From an SvN Sunspot I was pointed to Ricky’s rant about Tumblr

“Words have relative values. Someone who talks a lot has less value to their words than someone who rarely speaks. But when that quiet person speaks, people listen. When you publish 20 posts a day, your individual posts lose value.”

So I guess by that metric Tolstoy has no ‘value’ give that he wrote what has become the definition of a weighty tome (the first version of War and Peace I found on Amazon has 1296 pages). Quality and quantity are not necessarily inversely related – the words of someone who rarely speaks but says something stupid are not more valuable than the words of someone who tells an engaging story all night. And vice versa.

Also linked on SvN was this follow up from Fred Graver which has pop at Twitter

“It’s why I hate Twitter. There’s more of a chance that my dog will type Ulysses than that I’ll get an intelligent Twitter message… Why? Because WRITING IS THINKING. Good writing reflects good thinking. It’s why we go through multiple drafts of anything… to get to what we REALLY want to say.”

Which strikes me as equally silly. No-one needs the pressure of trying to write Ulysses for every type of communication – sometimes the word just needs to get out quickly and easily without much thought. Besides haven’t we all hit the witty one-liner almost without thinking, in amongst all our unthinking undrafted realtime chatter – and this seems to me what twitter is best for; simple, realtime, chatter (intelligence optional).

Please, Ricky and Fred, don’t take it all so seriously.

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