It is one thing to do human interest stories.
It’s another to do crappy, outdated stories on how the paparazzi killed Princess Di. Twitter’s horse, however, was never alive to start beating on. The lazy media finds these easy stories to report on, latches on, and then sucks them dry immediately. It’s like listening to the radio and growing tired of a hit song two weeks after it’s released to due over-play.
Somehow, editors have latched on to the idea that “the next big thing in social networking” occurs every 1-2 years. Myspace, Facebook, now… twitter? Either editors are completely clueless about online culture, and simply hopping on the bandwagon, or, well no, they’re completely clueless and hopping on the bandwagon. There’s no other reason to give twitter the time of day, or space IN PRINT in Real Life (IRL) about the topic.
So Twitter gets a $35 million venture capital injection. This is a facepalm-worthy event. I realize $35 million is a drop in the bucket when you have companies like Cerberus Corp betting billions on worthless companies like Chrysler, but it’s been proven over and over again that social networking sites aren’t worth significantly more than the servers they’re on.
Case in point:
Online “portals”: go.com, ask.com, aol.com msn.com askjeeves.com…and too many to list here or others i’ve forgotten
Media conglomerates: AOL
Failed social networking sites: hi5.com, myspace.com
All of these are sites that were bought for tens of millions of dollars, some worth nearly a billion dollars, back when a billion dollars was worth something(!). Most of these sites are still wheezing on, waiting to die, being rebranded in an attempt to increase their value enough that investors can sell them off and make back some margin of what was invested in them. Most never turned a profit, and none of them were ever actually valued at what they were bought at speculatively. All of them were pumped up by the media. The only winners here have been Yahoo and Google.
It might be that journalism is truly breathing it’s last gasps, and they’re clawing at any way to transition into the new era, but damnit, (latest tech item) + (b class celebrity) does not make a real article! Yes, celebrity X has an iPod, or Obama has a Zune is cute, but it’s not newsworthy, it’s barely marginally blog-worthy. You’re better than that, and the world expects more of you than filling empty space with worthless twitter stories.