Congrats to my Grist colleague Jess Zimmerman, who was quoted heavily today in the Huffington Post by Arianna in a piece about the fetishization of social media.
“See, no matter what some social media guru told you,” concludes Zimmerman, “Twitter is not just a marketing amplification engine. It’s a bunch of people, sharing things they think are worth sharing. Trying to start a McDonald’s appreciation hashtag is like the smelly, creepy kid running a write-in campaign for Prom King — not gonna work, and probably gonna backfire. People don’t start liking you just because you suggest a way to express their admiration.”
This was actually from a really good GristList post back in January. Better late than never. Now I wonder when people will begin to realize that Twitter has not quite matured into a medium (or at least expressed an interface) that fulfills that higher goal “a bunch of people, sharing things that they think are worth sharing.” If the point of the whole thing is the things that they are sharing, how many of those things are we all missing now due to the fire-hose nature of Twitter itself, the lack of good discovery tools and the poor interface? I say this not to be a jerk, but rather because it’s becoming more and more obvious (to me anyway) that Twitter, or the developer community around Twitter, needs to do a better job of solving some of these problems so that Twitter does not end up going the way of RSS, a technology with obvious merits but an unclear use case and purpose.