Syntagma Digital
Editor, John Evans

Comments and blog posts and – yes – Twitter

Indulgences There’s quite a bit of chatter around about comments being separated from blog posts by various network services. Somehow this is said to diminish blogs as a folkish artform. Does that matter?

The 21st-century internet is the stuff of Quantum Mechanics. Everything is possible without limit, whatever we may think about the outcome. The Web is a vast array of small atoms, not large planets. Its laws are closer to magic than physics and can be said to exist only within the context of human thought.

Leaving that inevitability aside because we can’t influence it, I believe we should be more worried about small concerns in small cases.

A couple of months ago there was an explosion of comments on Twitter about the way an interview was conducted with a founder of Facebook by a hapless BusinessWeek reporter, who was deemed not to have done a great job. To read some A-list bloggers, you’d think Jesus had been crucified all over again.

The poor woman concerned must have felt the stigmata piercing her extremities.

As I commented on one blog, “If this is what passes for REALLY BIG NEWS on Twitter, God help us all.”

It’s the old, old story of mass hysteria breaking out on what seems to be the big question of the moment. If you don’t get involved, you’re somehow not quite alive. Even people not in the interview audience were screaming blue murder — apparently.

Now, I’m not going to have another go at Twitter. I actually admire Evan Williams and his business ethos. He deserves to succeed and he has many supporters.

I just wish the “wisdom of the crowd” was not being compressed into a few self-appointed Black Holes around various insignificant 1960s-style “happenings”.

We need the crowd to defeat tyrants, not to tyrannize ordinary folk just doing their jobs, no matter how awkwardly.

Here ends the sermon on no particular mount.

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