Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Death of Tweeting?

Sometimes I feel like I am always late coming to the party. As a kid, I would finally buy into the latest fad as my school chums would go onto the next trend. I was showing off my new skateboard as my best friend introduced his new car. Plunking down money for some MC Hammer pants, my buddies were already wearing the depressing plaid shirts of the grunge era. Somehow I couldn’t cram my friend’s new DVD into my Betamax VCR. Even writing this blog came a bit late. Legal blogs have been around for about a decade. The oldest I can tell is probably “Overlawyered” which launched back in 1999. (Unless you count Doogie Howser's blogging efforts, but he was a medical doctor and Al Gore had not yet invented the internet.) My blog started in late March of this year. Now word around the playground is that Twitter is dead. A fanciful trend that is slowly going the way of pet rocks, the Macarena, Milli Vanilli and the Republican Party. I feel like this is somehow my fault. I've seen the death of several trends. Many for the better. I remember kids wearing clothes backwards. I remember wearing pants with the label on the crotch. As a kid, it was even popular to walk around school with your shoelaces untied. (I assume the kid who started this idiotic trend had a dentist or a PI attorney for a father. Kids kept tripping and knocking their teeth out.) In March, I boldly stated that I could do without Twitter. I didn’t need to know about the daily inane aspects of your life. Why did people feel the need to tell me that they were watching the game, walking their dog or eating a burrito. I’ve got stuff to do. I scoffed at the notion that twitter could help my practice. Lawyers are verbose. I can’t fit my ramblings into the confines of a 140 character tweet. (It’s called a tweet, right?) OK, so I’m a hypocrite. Despite my bravado, I relented and joined Twitter the following month. If there was a chance it could help my practice, why not join? I should have known my decision would spell the end for twitter. Chances are, if I’m jumping on the bandwagon, the trend probably isn’t cool anymore. Be forewarned, I am shopping for an i-phone and a pair of Ugg boots. I also give the Nintendo Wii about 6 more months. To be honest, I’ve lost a little interest in tweeting myself. When I post, it’s usually an occasional quip about a funny client story or a link to my blog. Twitter can be hard to follow when you follow hundreds of other people. On one hand, it can be a great source of news and developments in law. I often pick up tips, make contacts and get links to great information. On the other, I have found that many people who twitter like to post the mundane. “Got on the subway” or “My cat’s birthday today. YEAH!!” With facebook, twitter, texting, linkedin, myspace, cellphones, i phones, blackberry..etc, etc., I miss talking to people the way our forefathers did. Face to face. I wonder what that was like? I think it's too premature to say Twitter is dead. (It was widely used by Iranians to get the word out about that country's recent election fiasco and subsequent riots.) I guess, like anything else, Twitter is what you make of it. If you only follow Ashton Kutcher, chances are you are not going to get too much out of the service. If you follow the right professionals, you can gain tremendously. Dead or not, I am going to continue being a twit until the next trend comes along. For a great discussion on the twitter bubble bursting, I highly recommend checking out the Family Law Lawyer Tech & Practice Blog. Written by California Attorney John Harding, I have found this well written blog to be a great resource for attorneys.


Lee Rosen said...

Twitter is alive and well. I'm getting referrals every week from people I've met on Twitter. I'm also continuing to build my pre-Twitter relationships online with the help of Twitter.

I'm sure we'll move on from Twitter to the next new thing at some point. But we won't stop communicating online. And we won't stop meeting new people that decide they like us and trust us and become our clients and referral sources.

We need places to connect online and offline. These places won't die anytime soon.

Lee Rosen

Brett Owens said...

I'm with you, I've lost some interest, and the old TweetDeck feed doesn't seem quite as crowded as it used to be, at least for me.

Agree the concept of micro posting is definitely still viable...while maybe just not the world killer it was billed as in it's hay day...oh about 2-3 months ago.