Someone I know very well (no names, no pack-drill) once engraved a quatrain on a bench in the Chemistry lecture theatre, a celebration of Joe Broe, our lecturer and a very dry but thorough old stick. It read:
But nobody writes clerihews any more.
The short put-down has emerged again. I recently discovered the Green Tea Party blog, which is a hoot. Today, came a "tweet of the day" from a comedian whom I have hitherto not rated highly, Will Ferrell. It reads:
Dear scissors, I feel your pain . . . . Nobody wants to run with me either. Sincerely, Sarah Palin.
Like all innovations, Twitter has been loudly slammed by those who don't understand it and don't want to understand it. I don't really understand Twitter either, but I'm waiting for Twitter and its users to determine what it is.
Recall that the Internet was seen as a way of sharing scientific data and not what it is now, and one version has Bell inventing the telephone to deliver sermons to multiple churches. New technology rarely ends up being what the inventors thought it would be: the users decide that.
Users like Mr. Ferrell are now making the key decisions about Twitter by the ways they use it. Come back to this thought in 2020, and see if I was evidencing any sort of 2020 vision—or if I got it wrong like Sir William Preece, who thought (allegedly) that messenger boys were better than telephones.
And I think I will need to re-assess Mr. Ferrell.