Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I'm at a conference/ Tank Girl/ Twitter

I should mention, I was at a conference here in Austin today, will be so tomorrow until quite late, and then again on Thursday. My usual blogging and comment section maintenance is going to be less than perfect.

Also wanted to say: Tank Girl is a deeply flawed movie. I'm trying to watch it on cable, but it's pretty bad. Comic folk and Hollywood could learn some lessons regarding what not to do with Tank Girl. So much potential, and it sort of sputters around like they had no idea what they really wanted out of the movie while they were making it. Add in a layer of early-90's sheen, and TV-style directing, and it feels not entirely unlike one of its contemporaries in the Pauly Shore wacky-movie genre.

I find it odd that I often hear folks defending the movie. It may be that I felt Lori Petty's reading of the titular character mistook blaring every line in the same cadence for sassiness. Plus, the kangaroo dudes just don't work. I don't care what was in the comic.

Oh God, Malcolm McDowell... did you ever have any shame?

On Twitter

A week ago The League posted one word in a post about things that drive you nuts on the internet. I dropped one word: Twitter

Its unlikely I'll do so again. Friends and Leaguers know that I don't use the application for my personal use, preferring Facebook as my personal poison. Also, blogs, e-mail, etc...

I think we basically hit a point at which the folks who are enthusiastic about Twitter and those of us who are less so were just sort of squawking uselessly at one another. We clearly use, used or would use the technology in different ways, and do not share the same perspective on how we engage in the communication cycle. Different technologies are going to expose these things in different ways.

The bottom line is that we are in a world where instant communication is possible on a massive scale, and in the hands of anyone with an e-mail account, a username and password. As NTT would point out, that's an incredibly important thing in events like the Iranian election or a natural or other disaster.

I confess that it is deeply hypocritical to walk away from Twitter for the reasons I did when I maintain a personal weblog. And I honestly feel that, if Facebook Twitterfeeds are any indication, that we've passed through the goofier stages of people figuring out what to do with Twitter and not just informing you of every time they have a meal, hit the head, what-have-you...

For all the good it can provide, Twitter has a ways to go, and people will need to be very careful in how they use it once it becomes part of expected types of communication. We all need phone lines, and they're also good for passing emergency information, etc... but if the phone rings off the hook from telemarketers, we taken them off the hook. Heck, I confess that even if the phone rang all evening from friends and family, I'd keep it off the hook.

And that's where I am with Twitter right now.

I don't expect this will come remotely close to closing the book on Twitter in the comments section or at this blog or elsewhere. But I'm shelving the topic for a while.

We are, of course, all over Facebook. We're in the middle of working on incorporating Twitter into our professional life, and, in fact watched part of a panel of archivists discussing how the Tweets from Iran would be preserved for future generations (using the near complete loss of record of how Tiananmen Square played out.

I think it also raises some questions regarding expectations of one another not just in ownership of devices that can handle and manage these modes of communication from a financial standpoint, but the fact that we're now so attached to our devices that instant messaging at all times from any direction doesn't seem unreasonable to many. That may be overstating it a bit, but I'm not sure its by much, whether you're spending time managing your communication or not (and it is, in my personal and professional experience, a tough thing to explain that most people prefer their tools do this for them. They do not wish to spend their time monkeying with and tweaking their tools).

So that's that.

I gotta go to bed.


J.S. said...

I take it all back. Twitter is a good thing....


J.S. said...

By the way, I also recently watched Tank Girl (yes, we're watching the same cable channels, apparently), and I didn't really know what to make of it. It sort of felt like they came right out of the gate with the idea that they were going to make themselves a "cult movie". Premeditated cult movies. I'm not sure I'm down with that. Cult movies are usually appreciated because they lack self awareness and end up being schlocky, but while still earnestly struggling to tell a story. They still manage to be entertaining- although often not exclusively in the way the creators intended. Tank Girl felt like someone was trying to prepackage cult movie ideals, but since it felt to me like they started out with the idea of making a cult movie, it didn't really feel like they were ever very serious about the actual story they were telling. Anyway, I may be misreading the whole thing and I didn't hate it, but I wasn't very impressed, either.

NTT said...

So does that mean now that we cannot mention that Communication Service That Cannot Be Named?


The League said...

nah, we cans till speak freely about Smoke Signals.

I just want to be very careful in how I approach talking about Twitter going forward. I think there was a lot of misunderstanding going on there. And I am aware that my personal experience does not reflect the experiences of others.

Still watching the usage in Iran unfold. I'm far more fascinated by the political situation, but there's no denying the technology angle.

Anyway, we can talk about Twitter again in July.

NTT said...

That's ok. I'm all tweeted out right now. I don't think that there's anything new to be said after our last go round. I think we pretty much explored every angle of the conversation.

My prediction? IRC is making a comeback baby! Believe it@! You heard it here first.

The League said...

I just did a quick Wikipedia check on IRC to see if it had any special significance, a la Twitter in Iran.

"IRC was used to report on the Soviet coup attempt of 1991 throughout a media blackout.[7] It was previously used in a similar fashion during the Persian Gulf War.[8] Logs of these and other events are kept in the ibiblio archive.[9]"