Just about the time I figure I have it “wired,” I realize I don’t. It can be very frustrating, especially when you are in the business of communication, to find out you really aren’t “communicating” as effectively as you thought.
For starters, when websites started becoming the “thing” most of us around the office figured they, it, whatever, were a fad and would fade. Hell, for that matter we thought this entire Internet was a flash and in time Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn would be back in their labs as they were in 1973 figuring out what else they could do with their invention. (For those who thought Al Gore invented the Internet—sorry, but he was an early fan and proponent.)
OK, so all of us around the office have now figured out that the web-thingy is here to stay and whether we like it or not websites have become part and parcel of our everyday lives. We have one for STREET RODDER (www.streetrodder.com) where you can get loads of info about SR or any number of topics pertaining to our beloved magazine. But it doesn’t end here. Around the magazine each of us uses the Internet daily as a research source but then there’s always the reading of the sports page (my favorite) and, of course, it’s a great way to find out up-to-the-moment (real time) what’s going on in the world. It’s also a great way to get sucked into a great deal of misinformation so for anyone hooked solely on the Internet—as the saying goes “buyer beware.”
But now there’s more. And knowing that I may still not be on top of the game but here goes.
STREET RODDER has a Twitter account and if you wish to follow what we find interesting you can check us out at @streetroddermag. Twitter (cofounded by Jack Dorsey in March 2006) is a website that offers social networking via microblogging. That just sounds bad. I mean social networking almost sounds like I have to talk to and be nice to people. For me this is difficult—unless of course you are a car person, then all is cool. As for microblogging I am going out on a limb here but it must have something to do with the 140 or less characters you have to express your intent. Let me tell you, that’s not going to happen in 140 characters. To this point I have “spent” 2,270 characters (which includes spaces just to tell I’m lost).
I am still trying to understand the lingo: it appears Tweets are the messages that I send out that my followers read and can reply, if so inclined. Of course, you can re-Tweet, which I think occurs when you forward my Tweet to your followers. Next there are those who I follow and those who follow me. Geez this is confusing.
Now, hero types like Ashton Kutcher apparently have 6,728,979 followers posed to read his every thought. (I figure being married to Demi Moore must be good for a couple million, but I digress.) Right now I have 21 followers and I am following 8. Hey, it has to be special for me to find it interesting and those following me are primarily my family and those forced to follow the STREET RODDER account. But, I believe I can outdo the kid married to G.I. Jane, so how about you sign up for the STREET RODDER Twitter account?
We aren’t done. Apparently this social networking thingy is also catching on because there is Facebook and YouTube. I don’t have enough doohickeys at the top of my computer screen to keep track. Let me give it a shot.
Facebook came about in 2004 and it is another one of those websites devoted to social networking. I never realized so many people got along so well that they wanted to know when you were at the local choke and puke devouring a chemically laden tube steak. But, apparently I am on the out looking in—again! Facebook has 600 million viewers—they should be their own country.