The Internet is trying too hard

1 Comment

 (Above) My unfunny attempt to modify the now-famous Situation Room photo.

I was going to write about how the news of Osama bin Laden’s death developed Sunday night on Twitter, especially since I happened to be browsing tweets when the first word of the “10:30 p.m.” announcement appeared. But Twitter has eliminated the time-stamp feature for tweets, so now I can’t figure out the exact sequence of events that night. I hope Twitter brings that feature back.

In the meantime, I want to complain about something: There are too many people trying to create Internet memes, including myself. On Monday, a photograph was posted on the White House Flickr account showing President Obama and others in the White House Situation room watching the bin Laden raid. Within an hour, altered versions of the image began showing up on the Internet. The first ones I saw featured the frowning flower girl from Friday’s royal wedding, a surprised cat, sad Keanu Reeves, and Rick Astley. In my opinion, none were particularly clever or funny. More

Happy Birthday, Twitter

Leave a comment

salve-a-terra--twitter_4251_1280x800
Image by Danilo Ramos, via Flickr

I’ve already written about Twitter’s fifth anniversary and what it means in the big picture scheme of things. Today I’ll share a few fun and interesting things about Twitter. Lady Gaga is the Queen of Twitter with nearly 9 million followers. President Obama is 4th on the list with 7 million followers. I follow neither. Probably the most popular person on Twitter that I follow is Roger Ebert, who recently shared at the TED conference how Twitter and the Internet helped him reinvent his voice after cancer surgeries took away his ability to talk. Oh, wait. I just remembered. I follow Charlie Sheen. He has more than 3 million followers. I find his antics fascinating. I don’t think he’s having a break down or is mentally ill. He’s just amoral, or immoral, and lovin’ it. Enough of famous people. Here are some important tweets from people who are not famous, but what they are doing on Twitter is vitally important: More

Internet = The Democratic Aspirations Of All People

Leave a comment

The video above shows a man, joined by others, who defiantly stands in front of an armored vehicle firing a water cannon during street protests in Egypt on Jan. 25. I learned about the video, posted on YouTube, through Twitter. I started taking Twitter seriously in November, 2008, when terrorists struck Mumbai, India. I had created a Twitter account in 2007, but didn’t know what to do with it. Twitter used to ask, “What are you doing?” And I learned that people were watching TV, walking their dog, or pushing a cart in the bread aisle of their Safeway. It reminded me of The Simpson’s episode in which Mr. Burns loses his wealth and is forced to live among regular people. He goes to the supermarket and tells a passerby, “I’m shopping!” But with the deadly attacks in Mumbai, I saw Twitter crackle with moment-by-moment reports from ordinary people about what was happening there. I felt connected to the situation in a way that is not often possible on TV.

More