Alone in a Crowd

by Ryan

Let’s do this quickly.

Twitter is a revolutionary method of exchanging information that has altered the way many people do many things. Like all inventions, it creates plenty of good things and a few bad things. One good thing: People can get information faster and almost anywhere. One bad thing: Sometimes that information isn’t accurate.

Clearly, John Vogl is wrong. We don’t even have to discuss that. It’s obvious that he doesn’t exactly understand what makes Twitter so interesting: You can do whatever you want with it.

Some use it as a way of getting information, some use it as a way of sharing information and some use it for both. The latter is probably the best way of using it, but you really can choose. You can have zero followers or follow zero people, and that’s what makes it great.

Twitter is not a fan zine or a blog, and literally THOUSANDS of journalists use the site to do their jobs better. Thousands more don’t, whether out of ignorance or simply because it can’t help them. For example, I have a Twitter account that I almost never use for my job writing about high school sports.

However, there are plenty who use it to not only link to their stories but gather information, contact sources and gain a larger perspective on things going on in the world around you.

It’s funny that John slipped into the classic “blogger” stereotypes because Twitter isn’t a blog at all. The site isn’t removed from the real world, it is the real world. That’s where it takes place and what it gives you a closer look at. You can cast blame on John Vogl for not understanding that, but when you give it deeper thought it’s actually remarkably sad.

The truth is this: Vogl isn’t alone. He represents the lightning rod right now, but it’s a rod attached to a gigantic organization that has very similar gaps in understanding when it comes to things like this. The News is part of an entire industry struggling to understand what the hell is going on right now, and so it’s not surprising that silly things like this happen from time to time.

John Vogl doesn’t like Twitter. So what? The much bigger problem is that he can’t begin to understand why he’s woefully uninformed, and he’s not the only one.


  1. Good one. (Incidentally, I’m glad you now have a “feces” tag.)

  2. PKB

    What is really sad is just how bitter Vogel comes off. Something that purportedly occurred on Twitter essentially became something that Vogel felt like he, as a journalist, had to address and he’s pissed off about it. The thing is though, he didn’t have to address the rumor. He had to address TimCon’s face. He CHOSE to address the rumor and once it was dismissed as false he used it as an opportunity to express some thoughts he had been storing. That’s why he crafted such a ridiculous picture and called Twitter the world of feces which, in the MSM, is about as strong of slander as allowable. This makes it HYSTERICAL — probably not what Vogel was aiming for.

    I’ve always thought of Twitter as a micro-blogging platform. I’m sure I’ve read that someplace. It shares characteristics with traditional weblogs but people that consume information on Twitter learn to rationalize it in a way that people looking from the outside in are incapable of. It’s a self-made network. You get what you want out of it. But the reasons for signing up in the first place are kind of a little self-aggrandizing. A lot of people can’t get past that. Cool. Whatever. Do your thing. It’s not for everyone. I just don’t get the bitterness.

  3. markb

    i just like that he was able to vent via the blog since most newspapers with standards wouldn’t let a print editorial have “feces” as a way of describing a popular social/new media platform. he basically stooped to/below the level of the people he despises with that post. it’s too bad, i respect what he does and writes consistently.

  4. I second the appreciation of a feces tag. Listening to the Roostcast right now and have to agree. What did Twitter do to John Vogl?