The Future Belongs To The Analog Loyalists

So despite my better judgement, this happened. Jen convinced me that it's a good idea. She's going to helm it — or at least I think she's supposed to. I don't want to spend too much time on it because, like I've said before in some shape or form, I still think it's important to control your own content versus supplying content for someone or something else. That and there are a lot of things I don't want to waste my time on without remuneration — predicting the Oscars, March Madness brackets, Fantasy Baseball — so I don't want to get sucked in.

Frank mentioned before that Twitter is just RSS for the masses, which I understand; if you don't have a Reader set up, then you don't get it — I understand that.

Don't expect anything pithy from the thingamajig — just a cryptic shortened link with some description that is under 140 characters.

I hate those shortened links, by the way — I think links are descriptive in and of themselves, and I'll look at a link — the link itself — before I ever click, because often I decide whether I should care based on that alone. But something like this is just baffling: — huh? Why are people so scared of long links? Has it really come to that?

I thought about setting up a Twitter account back when I started the Big Map Blog but I eventually decided that it was best to provide visitors with a service (i.e., letting people know when the Big Map is updated) and hold on to control of the content at the same time. The Big Map Blog started out as pretty basic — just a collection of links — but in time the posts have gotten more detailed — and less frequent than I originally envisioned. And certain posts end up supplementing the Big Map content — like when we go on a big trip and I compile the entire itinerary in one long post.

Anyway, I think @batclub will go back to that original intention. I imagine we'll also throw up links when there's something in the news, for example — not necessarily to highlight new content but also to remind visitors of content that's there — and that would not be something I'd want to waste anyone's time with on the Big Map Blog.

Biz Stone and Jack Dorsey are on CNN right now being feted by Piers Morgan and Martha Stewart. Hrm.

Look at it this way — we're just following in the footsteps of Amtrak, which is using the social media platform to notify riders of tremendous fuckups:

Amtrak is introducing a pilot program to notify Northeast Corridor passengers about major service disruptions via Twitter.

Which is to say, Twitter is great for a trainwreck.

Speaking of CBS New York articles, this one is really weird. So on "via Twitter" there's a seemingly non-germane link to an interview with Biz Stone from October 2010. Maybe not exactly "non-germane" but kind of random. But it gets weirder. On the paragraph that reads "Amtrak says Twitter users who choose to follow @AmtrakNEC will be notified of major service disruptions resulting in major delays or stoppage of all rail traffic due to equipment problems, severe weather, police activity or other causes" the words "Amtrak says" link to a story from November about the failed Trans-Hudson tunnel project. I don't get it.

Then it gets weirder . . . in the following paragraph that reads "Disruptions that affect only a single train will not result in a tweet," "result in a tweet" — or more accurately, the space just before the "r" in "result" and the rest of it — links to a story about how Cory Booker and Anthony Weiner have a lot of followers.

And then in the final paragraph — "Amtrak says it will review the number of followers and retweets of the messages to determine if the pilot program should be modified, made permanent or expanded to other corridors" — the words "number of followers and retweets" constitute a link to the story about the runaway Bronx Zoo cobra having a Twitter account.

In short, the most random and useless collection of links I've ever seen in a story.

Which is also to say, people on the Internet are trying to hustle. Clearly we're no different. But what I can say is that we will always try to make your Internet experience as meaningful as possible. Or as much as we can given that we're predisposed to the nooks and crannies of everyday life. We're not running a content farm, but we know we need to do what we can both to make the visiting experience worthwhile and put ourselves in a position to keep it viable. Who knows, maybe no one will use it (that would suck!), but now it's there if you want it.

You know, if you pluck the feathers and cook the shit out of it in a ragu, crow doesn't taste half bad . . .

Posted: March 29th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Do The Hustle | Tags: , , , ,

2 Comments on “The Future Belongs To The Analog Loyalists”

  1. 1 Frank said at 8:09 pm on April 1st, 2011:


  2. 2 Scott said at 9:04 pm on April 1st, 2011:

    Shit, did I also forget to enable the "thumbs up" emoticon?

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