So, I was at this party a couple of weeks ago. All sorts of twitterati were there. There was even a small shrine for our forbears, Paul DeBettignies and Jim Durbin. The place was throbbing and crowded . If you yelled loud enough, you could hear yourself over the music. Lots of people lined up to yell at each other while pretending to listen.
You know the scene.
Anyhow, I walked over to the bar to get a drink. Along the way, I struck up a conversation with a couple of guys standing at the bar.
Are you here for the 'tweetup?" I hollered.
"The what?" He replied blankly.
"This is a tweetup," I said, "You tweet, don't you?"
He started to edge away from me. "Don't go. I haven't asked about your strategy to build followers. How many tweets does it take to get a new friend? What's your opinion on building a large group of followers indiscriminately?"
He was no longer just edging away. You could see real terror beginning to show in his eyes. He was picking up speed.
The other night night, I did a tweetchat on #talentnet. It was much like the bar scene. Lots of yelling, lots of chaos, not so much beer, no live music (Jerry Albright was working hard to fix the music problem). The tweets flowed like a river of coat hangers. It was as easy to strike up a conversation in the jangle of crossed wires as it was in the bar.
This time, it was everyone else who was leaving. From what I could tell, no one knew that I was talking. But, the one liners flew like knives from the circus knife thrower. It was dazzling and overwhelming.
It also served to underline my emerging view about twitter. While it is a great way to learn things and stay in touch, it's not a very good way to have a conversation.