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Friday, September 17, 2010

Twittering Inanities

One of the attractions of Twitter was its sprinkling of celebrities, many with thousands of followers. Thrill to the antics of Demi Moore and Ashton Kuchter! Hear the inner thoughts of Russell Brand, Stephen Fry and Lily Allen! Enjoy nuggets of business intelligence from Duncan Bannatyne, Peter Jones and Lord Sugar!

But what Twitter teaches us is the utter banality of the written word. Very few have mastered the succinct soundbite demanded by the word restrictions.

Last night four harpies of the medium, Times' writers India Knight and Caitlin Moran, Channel 4 presenter and posh bird Kirstie Allsopp and Grazia's editor Jane Bruton, were all watching the Labour leadership candidates on Question Time and furiously tweeting to each other.

Were we supposed to kill ourselves laughing at their wit and rapartee, and thank our lucky stars that these doyennes of writing and broadcasting were sprinkling their gems among we plebs?

I merely thought that the four of them should retire to private instant messaging, but I doubt if their egos would allow that.

Duncan Bannatyne, meanwhile, gives us blow-by-blow accounts of the Amazon book charts, to remind us that he has a book out; occasionally tells us what the weather is like where his holiday home is and sometimes has a go at fellow Dragon James Caan.

Lord Sugar only started a month ago but is already lost in the celebrity egotism of Twitter, exhorting ever more people to follow him so he can reach thirty thousand.

Here are his most recent tweets:

I will be doing a live Q & A on Twitter for the Mirror serialisation on Monday at 6 pm


From Monday, it all kicks off with my book. Buy the Mirror next week for exclusive serialisation (book out on 30th)
I think that says it all.
Many tweets are from people promoting something. Websites, blogs, books, links, forthcoming appearances. Most of it is drivel about what people are doing. And then a tiny, tiny percentage are witty and make you laugh out loud. Precious few of those are from celebrities, it has to be said.  The only celebs I'm following who can truly use the medium properly are Richard Madeley (@richardm56) and Graham Linehan (Father Ted writer), @glinner. They're there frequently, unlike some celebs who only post occasionally to remind us they're alive, and they give us provoking thoughts, trivia, amusement.

1 comment:

frumpfactor said...

Yeah, I know. I use Twitter.... but I kind of don't get it. At times, it seems like the equivalent of watching 100 people burp and scratch themselves.... in "real time."


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