Twitter. Love it or loathe it — and, hell, I love it — it is different things to different people. Here’s some of what it is to me.
Twitter’s a microphone and a transmitter. It broadcasts to anyone who tunes in. It’s public, visible, and complicated. The transmissions twine together and ricochet and intersect and align and diverge. It can all be maddening complex, harmonious and disharmonious, full of chords and discord. It’s a big deal.
Some of my favorite thinkers, writers, and personalities don’t think very highly of Twitter or its power or its actual usage in practice. I think they’re mistaken. It’s made friendships possible. It’s made revolutions possible. It’s been used and abused and misused — because it is a tool and that is how it goes with tools.
Sometimes I hear that Twitter is a space, and that’s a useful and powerful metaphor but it is only a metaphor. Twitter is not a space. It is not a safe space.
You’re the best,
you’re the one,
your work shames all the rest,
and we shall have no other fun.
Storium melds creative writing and gameplay in a unique way. One of the things we’ve learned from our alpha playtest feedback is that Storium gives players plenty of creative freedom, but it needs to do more to help them keep their stories moving forward. As a result, we’re making the gameplay aspects of Storium even stronger.
That means making some changes. Right now, we’re working on a major revision of Storium that we’ll be unveiling in a few weeks as “Alpha 2.” It’s like a Hollywood sequel, but with less explosions. Probably.
You’re wandering along the Internet, procrastinating, when you find a link to an oddly named site. It has your name on it. It appears to be a news site with a flashy front page, blog posts, and streaming videos. Every post is about you. Every photo is you. Every video? You.
The front page shows what you’ve done lately but it isn’t just what you’ve done, it’s what you’re doing. What you’re thinking, right now, as you read the front page, that’s the top news item on the front page. A tweet scrolls by, reporting your reaction to your own thoughts.
An RSS feed tells readers on their mobile devices all the things you say to yourself. People who want to develop apps based on you can get the API. Your likeness appears to be a registered trademark of a towering media conglomerate.
For every day you’ve been alive, there’s a thread on the forums. The five-day forecast suggests your mood through the weekend and it’s rainy. That stupid thing you said to that person you admire is splashed on a T-shirt for sale in a banner ad. Click here for a slideshow of you alone in the bathroom.
After each post, beneath each video, you see… a comments section.
I type this not-word a lot: toruble.
To the best of my knowledge, it has no meaning except, perhaps, “trouble so severe or dreadful as to cause typing fingers to flutter.”
What do you propose toruble means?
All this weekend, people have been setting off fireworks outside my building. They whistle and pop, crackle and boom. They’re fireworks—some of them explode in the sky like proper celebratory blooms, like someone hit a homer down the block. The dog has not been sleeping well.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to get my Internet access working properly. This involves a mixture of technical troubleshooting, for the technical issues, and social tinkering, for my social issues. I make too big a deal out of stuff that people write on the Internet sometimes. Sometimes they’re writing to me, sometimes about me, sometimes it has little or nothing to do with me—I can still blow it out of proportion, no problem.
Except, wait, it is a problem.
I fret and fidget and dwell and obsess. I mistake a forum post for, pardon me, actual writing. I sometimes spend time trying to get the language and nuance of a forum post right, to reward a deep reading for context and subtext and what I didn’t say in addition to what I did. I craft tweets to work in little series, to counterbalance my doldrums with my guffaws, to modulate the ups and downs in a way that convey my mood that day. I open the browser and I fiddle. These may have been hours misspent—nobody’s putting half the damn into reading my forum post that I’m putting into writing it or dissecting the response to it—but there I’ve gone, misspending.
Without steady and reliable Internet access, though, I’ve been spending less time reading and writing that stuff and more time breaking stories, building up game adventures, designing games, and outlining books. I’ve been putting more of what I want to say into writing that maybe—just maybe—will last longer or be better regarded than a forum post or a tweet. Writing that has a chance of doing that, at least.
For a few days, I was really dreading what was happening on the Internet without me. What gags and dramas passed by? What glimpses into other people’s lives? Was I falling out of the conversation, falling behind the discourse?
Outside, a firework went boom.