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.