July 27, 2009

The seven flaws of Twitter?

MarketWatch's  columnist John C Dvorak seems to be too irritated with the news of people looking at Twitter as a new source of news, in real time. He calls the idea of Twitter as a News Source 'Horsecrap". He says: 'The microblog is simply not a news source." He writes off Twitter as 'unpredictable noise in the crowded darkness." in his column "Second Opinion" in Market Watch.

Well, here I have a second third opinion about what John wrote about the idea of Twitter as a potential news source:
  1. Elephant Syndrome: I hope John will be kind enough to show us one news paper, one TV Channel or at least one Online News Service that does not have elephant syndrome. I don't know why John does not understand any 'breaking-news' for that matter is an 'elephant'. 
  2. Unvested Reporters: We hear this ever since bloggers started writing about issues that matter to the community at large. We hear that bloggers are no good at giving the news. But we have sometimes seen the Big Guys in Journalism depending on the Small Guys in Blogging for News. I don't know if John has purposefully not seen instances where Bloggers have reported better than Journalists. I think John's statement about J-school professors applies to John himself. Let me add a few words and take off a few words from John's own sentence to show how! "The silly notion of citizen journalism propagated undersetimated by J-school professors columnists seeking some excuse for their continued existence is part of the problem."
  3. Vlunerability to manipulation: I hope John has his history of Journalism right. I don't know if John has heard about the American Government manipulating the news sources before any war. I don't know why John thinks some 'Workers' Party' [??] can manipulate only 'Twitter." The fact is anything can be manipulated, if it can be. 
  4. Hoaxes and Goof Balls: John sounds like Hoaxes and Goof Balls started happening only after people started blogging. I don't know why John doesn't know the public will fall over and over again for hoaxes even if Twitter doesn't exist. 
  5. Lack of Access: I don't understand why one should have access to spokespeople and officials to report news. There are many instances in history when the Officials have lied and gave false information to the public. News is not just about swallowing the official version as it is. The photograph of a cop beating an old lady might be a useless piece of information to John, but not to people like me.
  6. Lack of Analysis: I don't know which J-school professor taught John that news is all about analysis. News is news. Analysis comes after the news. I have a suggestion. Let Bloggers and Twitter users report news. Then people like John who make a living analysing things can go ahead and do their bit of analysis instead of simply writing off Twitter Users.
  7. Skewed Priorities. Twitter is about the users himself or herself now. Like blogging was once. Why can't it be about other things too, like blogging is now? 
It is sad that writers like John messes up their priorities [skewed priorities?] and blurs their vision about the possibilities of social networking! People like him should be encouraging it!

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