[Air-L] Trivial tweeting
ruth at ruthdeller.co.uk
Fri Jul 3 09:02:32 PDT 2009
Some strong observations there, Mariana, which I'd largely agree with
I also wonder if country plays a role - for example in the UK, there is a strong current of using Twitter as a group conversation, partly inspired, I think, by the number of British celebrities on there who also participate and who act as 'opinion leaders'. There also seems to be a British 'type' - again perhaps because of the celebrities - 25-45(ish), fairly educated, fairly liberal etc.
You'll find that UK topics regularly 'trend' as people take part in collective conversations about news, TV shows, sport or music events.
The likes of Glastonbury, Wimbledon, Big Brother, Top Gear, Ashes to Ashes, The Apprentice, Masterchef (also on in Australia at the moment), and Britain's Got Talent all regularly make the trending topics.
I followed the Twitter discussions on a programme I'm researching which was shown here at 7pm on Sunday night and it produced a large volume of tweets considering its profile - this is partly because the journalist whose programme it was is very active on Twitter and was taking part in interactive discussion about the show. For three hours around the broadcast time the feeds were constantly refreshing.
I sometimes join in and watch the hashtag feeds for programmes I am enjoying watching and tweeting about myself (likewise for news events) and there's something very enjoyable about the communal watching experience that's different from posting on a blog (for example).
Twittering about news and current affairs has the same feeling, as well as it being a quick way to circulate blogs, reports and other things.
In my city, Sheffield, we had floods twice this year, and the #sheffieldflood09 hashtag helped people update each other on road closures and so on.
There's also the excitement of seeing works in process - several people use Twitter to help in research or work projects, or to update followers on how things are progressing, and so there's a sense of participation and collectivity there.
As for tweets about brushing teeth etc, I don't mind. I also enjoy the odd hashtag game. I like the mixture of the personal, the professional, the serious, the trivial, the individual and the collective - but I tend to personally see Facebook more as about me and my close friends and Twitter more about a set of conversations.
Ruth Deller, Sheffield Hallam
From: air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org [mailto:air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org] On Behalf Of Mariana Matos
Sent: 03 July 2009 16:41
To: Cornelius Puschmann; RBerkman at aol.com
Cc: air-l at listserv.aoir.org; bernie.hogan at oii.oxford.ac.uk
Subject: Re: [Air-L] Trivial tweeting
I've been reading the threads on this topic, and I've some ideas to share
First of all, I totally agree with Cornelius, that we shouldn't judge twitts
as "trivial", because it's something personal. For example, what may look
trivial to one, may not look the same way to others... So, what's trivial? I
also liked the comparison with writing on park benches and the reasons
people should have to do this.
I think that people may tweet for different reasons, and that's what I've
been hearing from Twitter users. There are some who don't write a line.
They're "spectators", often looking for relevant information. In that case,
they follow who they consider to be a good source of news and information.
There are others who are themselves the news/information "producers". They
always have a good amount of followers, although they follow few people.
Finally, there are those who use Twitter as a way of keeping in touch with
friends. For these people, Twitter is almost a chat room, and we can see
conversations being held. I think that among them are most of those who
tweet things that could be seen as "trivial". However, if we consider that
they're being read mostly by their friends, I wouldn't say that their
followers would classify their tweets as trivial... One example. I have a
close friend who's 8 months pregnant. She often twitt about how she's
feeling. When she tweets about contractiong, for example, that wouldn't be
very interesting for those who don't know her, or who aren't close to her.
But as she's a close friend of mine, it interests me and other of her
followers. Then, for me it's not "trivial tweeting".
One last thing I'd like to say. Some time ago there was a trending topic
which was "whyitweet". Among many responses, there were many references to
the sensation of being important. Many said that they liked pretending that
people cared about what they say, or that twitting made they feel like
they're so paid attention. I think these responses bring some light to the
Sorry about the long message!!
Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
----- Original Message -----
From: "Cornelius Puschmann" <cornelius.puschmann at uni-duesseldorf.de>
To: <RBerkman at aol.com>
Cc: <air-l at listserv.aoir.org>; <bernie.hogan at oii.oxford.ac.uk>
Sent: Thursday, July 02, 2009 1:48 PM
Subject: Re: [Air-L] Trivial tweeting
> Hi Rob, Bernie and colleagues,
> the communicative behavior that you describe is precisely what my
> presentation in the Twitter session at IR 10.0 will address (I believe
> the title contains something about "reporting states and actions" - am on
> my iPhone so can't check). The published papers on Twitter by Honeycut
> and Herring/danah describe interactional tweeting (tweets that initiate
> an exchange or can be assumed to be written with the goal of initiating
> one) in detail, but non-interactional tweeting has not been covered yet
> as far as I can tell.
> I've looked into (and written about) the same issue with blogs and I
> would caution anyone a) against using value judgements ("trivial"
> tweeting/blogging etc) and b) against assuming from the start that this
> kind of behavior is audience-centric (i.e. that people write this stuff
> with a lot of consideration for their readers, or, more specifically,
> with the intention of providing useful information to them).
> Why do people scratch "I was here" into park benches or leave their
> imprint in wet cement? Because creating a record of your existence proves
> both to yourself and to others that you were in a certain place at a
> certain point in time, which at least to me seems to be more the result
> of a basic psychological need than a genuinely social activity. You're
> not really "messaging" those others in that you necessarily have any
> communicative intent other than wanting the words to echo back to you.
> Why do people write diaries? At least in part to stabilize the self, to
> create a coherence of thoughts, emotions and events in relation to the
> self (see research by James Pennebaker et al on health improvements
> related to diary writing).
> It's possible to integrate this with the ambience argument. Non-
> interactional tweets tend to report places, activities and physical/
> emotional states (what someone had for lunch is less common in my
> subjective experience). They usually indicate changes from the default
> which are noteworthy to the twitterer, regardless of their informational
> relevance. How often have you read "am on the train to X / the plane to Y
> / just arrived at a hotel in Z"? I am not disputing that this information
> can also be relevant to others, but my impression is that that isn't the
> reason why people tweet it so frequently. Travelling places us outside of
> our usual environment both spatially and socially and therefore increases
> both the need to report and the likelihood that the information will be
> perceived at least as marginally relevant.
> I'll stop here, before I reproduce the content of at least one of my
> papers in all its lengthy entirity. My central arguments:
> 1) audience design in blogs and Twitter greatly varies from person to
> person (see Scott Nowson's work on blogging and personality) - in my
> opinion, minimal intended audience is the blogger/tweeter herself,
> 2) communication is always motivated, but not always audience-oriented -
> especially if you don't know exactly who your audience is or what it
> perceives as relevant, which is why people tweet this stuff but don't
> usually email it or post it to mailing lists such as this one,
> 3) in a medial environment where any information can be stored and
> transmitted to anyone with equal and minimal effort, strictly speaking
> nothing is "relevant" or "irrelevant", and I think people sense this.
> My 0.05€.
> Cornelius Puschmann, PhD
> University of Duesseldorf
> Department of English Language and Linguistics
> Am 02.07.2009 um 15:30 schrieb RBerkman at aol.com:
>> Have you read the various discussions and articles on the concept and
>> desire for "ambient awareness"--the desire to develop a kind of sixth
>> about what our friends and colleagues are doing/thinking/observing, so
>> in a
>> sense we feel more connected to them? So, just like you might be
>> chatting on
>> the phone with a friend or relative and say you've just had a delicious
>> chicken sandwich as a way to share something trivial, but still
>> bonding, the same can be done over your Twitter followers, writ
>> Robert Berkman
>> Associate Professor
>> Media Studies & Film
>> The New School
>> **************It's raining cats and dogs -- Come to PawNation, a place
>> where pets rule! (http://www.pawnation.com/?ncid=emlcntnew00000008)
>> The Air-L at listserv.aoir.org mailing list
>> is provided by the Association of Internet Researchers http://aoir.org
>> Subscribe, change options or unsubscribe at:
>> Join the Association of Internet Researchers:
> The Air-L at listserv.aoir.org mailing list
> is provided by the Association of Internet Researchers http://aoir.org
> Subscribe, change options or unsubscribe at:
> Join the Association of Internet Researchers:
The Air-L at listserv.aoir.org mailing list
is provided by the Association of Internet Researchers http://aoir.org
Subscribe, change options or unsubscribe at: http://listserv.aoir.org/listinfo.cgi/air-l-aoir.org
Join the Association of Internet Researchers:
Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
Version: 8.5.375 / Virus Database: 270.13.3/2216 - Release Date: 07/03/09 05:53:00
More information about the Air-L