Twitter Post  Sparks a Thoughtful Dialogue


I have written hundreds of posts on this blog over the past couple of years, but seldom have I received the amount of feedback generated from my post on Twitter last Friday; and seldom has the dialogue been this thoughtful, this effective, this informative and reasoned.

Even those who disagreed with me offered up some really good counterpoints which I certainly take to heart.

Some of the posts are at the bottom of my blog page, and they were excellent.

But dozens more came in via email on Friday, through the weekend and even through this morning, and I want to highlight some of them.

  • Slideshow: 10 Biggest Tech Blunders in the Last 25 Years
  • This, to me, is a shining example of what the web offers that no other communication platform can.

    To wit:

    From Linda Way: "Amen. I haven't even bothered to check out Twitter. I just don't see the point.. Technology has stolen our lives, and we spend all of our time with machines rather than people… Nothing; your job, your blog, your emails, your success will ever mean to you what your time with your loved ones will. I applaud you for not being a Twitter."

    Carl Wohlforth: "I'm with you on Twitter. I posts links to my meager writing, but that is all it seems good for."

    Larry Newman: "Ditto."

    From John Kirwan: "My sentiments exactly. I don't get Twitter at all. Who cares if you're drinking a beer, eating a burger and watching football. Go spend some time with your kids and family instead of telling somebody about trivial things in your life. Thanks for great reporting on Tech side of the markets. I watch pretty much all day and have CNBC Plus because the news ya'll provide great." (I know, that last part didn't have anything to do with Twitter, but how could I resist not putting THAT in?)

    "Rudeoat" writes: Only the true blue narcissistic fools among us will be there, tweeting 'till the bitter end. Us regular fools? We all eventually pack it in…A billion dollars? Beyond greed or reality. Totally insanity. I knew I liked you… and here's a pat on the back for quitting while you were ahead."

    JT offers, "Hey, I liked the article you wrote. On Twitter. That was very well written! I really like your spots on CNBC also. It is no wonder you did not like Twitter. You write meticulously. Very well and cover all the points. I just wanted you to know all this."

    Says Ron Fabian: "A fad which is just another way for all the narcissistic people to feed themselves."

    Andrew Rogerson: "Great article. From my perspective, spot on. I suspect its true value is still evolving as it does have a strong following. And like so many things, it's searching for its niche. I don't need an iPhone. I don't need a Blackberry…Time is all I own and mine to give and take as I decide."

    Spellbound: "Wow, FINALLY someone 'gets it.' You understand the same things I've been trying to complain about on Twitter...A couple of months ago, I tried to follow your Fast Money tweets on the Apple (?) conference call, at the same time as your running blog on What a mess twitter made it for you. After a few minutes, I realized that the 140 character limit was forcing you to type different messages that contained far less information than the CNBC blog. It was no contest, so I shut the twitter, and continued to refresh the blog every few minutes."

    John writes, "I am a F/T trader and a P/T VC… We had a couple of guys in here last week pitching us a new type of software purportedly written to better track port traffic... Anyway, during the pitch, one of the guys excused himself (ostensibly to hit the can). His partner finished his side of the presentation and we were waiting for the other guy to come back...uncomfortably so. I peeked out the door, and he was on his Crackberry texting away. When we asked him what he was doing, he came clean about catching up on his Tweets because people 'expected' him to respond to something supposedly deemed important in his life by noon that day. Needless to say, we terminated the meeting and wished them well...When the writing gets so prolific that it makes no sense to cover it all, see it all, read it all, find it all....whatever, then it's time to dial it down."

    Jean Levac: "To me Twitter is the same as New Kids on the Block, another fad. Not like teen bands who take up wall space, this one just takes precious times away from us."

    Kevin Randel offers, "Thank God I'm not alone. I tried it and it ended up being a silly annoyance that I discontinued after a very short time."

    Zina Spezakis writes, "I thought your article was very practical…Quite frankly, why should I Tweet when I can do so much more on Facebook?"

    Frank Lynn: "Good for you, Jim, now throw the Blackberry away and spend some QUALITY time with your children. I see what these tech toys are doing to adults and people with children and I want to grab everyone of you by the throat. YOU HAVE CHILDREN PEOPLE! Your job is to raise them to be responsible and happy adults, not spoiled brats who have everything but their parents' time and attention."

    Dan O'Sullivan: "Wow, it took you that long to come to the conclusion that as a nation we are already wired too much. How perceptive of you…Take a hammer to the gadgets and go out and enjoy long nature walks with your kids!!"

    Jim Garland says, "I am with you 100 percent…I have two businesses to run, a loving wife and four awesome kids and the last thing I need is something else consuming my time."

    Julien Booth: "Thank you for confirming the value of being Twitter. Enjoy your rides more instead."

    Bob Crawford: "You were kind -- probably too much so -- to the devotees of Twitter. I've never used it because, when I ask others what they get out of it, I can't discover any value worth handling the traffic. It confirms my suspicion that Twitter is primarily for twits."

    Francis Carden: "A solution looking for a problem."

    Adrian O'Hara: "I thought your blog about Twitter was excellent. You covered all the bases and accurately explained both Twitter's value as well as its challenges. Furthermore, you shared your thoughts about the kind of things I've been wondering: how do people like you manage to keep up with all these additional social media responsibilities on top of all your other job responsibilities (and family responsibilities as well.)"

    From Mdovell: "I went onto twitter back in July mostly due to the situation in Iran. I don't know anyone who "tweets". Most people I know that are online a significant amount of time are on Facebook. A Facebook comment is basically a tweet and I get updates on that all the time. Twitter is merely part of a Facebook in its own right. However social trends have shown that once something gets popular it ultimately ends. Facebook killed off MySpace and I'm sure something might kill twitter as well. If everyone can do or has access to something then it is no longer viewed as cool or unique."

    There's plenty more, and I encourage you to keep writing in, but pro and con, to all of this. In an upcoming post, I'll include a note from one of Twitter's creators, who brings up some very good points, but still, alas, doesn't change my mind. Not to say I won't change my mind. Just saying I'm still looking for a reason to.

    Questions? Comments?