Sunday, December 07, 2008

Twittering Ionesco

In his most recent and always thought-provoking newsletter, writer and creativity coach-of-coaches Eric Maisel opines,
I think that this social networking chatter is the new absurdity. It is absurd because it is at once effective and horrible, seductive and mind-numbing, professional and infantile.

Madam Mayo is scratching her head over that one. Yes. No. Not exactly-sort-of. What constitute "professional" and "infantile" in our culture are undergoing a seachange. Just for example, I had thought facebook was childish--- until I had a look at who's on it and what they're using it for. Herewith a few of our finest poets and writers whom you'll find on facebook: Grace Cavalieri, Chris Offutt, Naomi Ayala, Mark Doty, Martin Espada, Richard McCann, and Sandra Gulland.

Furthermore, says Maisel:
What is the state of absurdity today? It is clear to me that I am supposed to be cross-blogging and twittering all day long in order to increase my audience. If you do not know what cross-blogging and twittering mean, you are lucky. It is indeed the case that folks who spend all day doing things of this sort really do sell more of whatever it is they are selling than do people who don’t. I don’t doubt that and I don’t dispute that. But I would rather have a root canal than send out little messages all day about this and that.

But what Great White-Bearded Committee in the Sky says it has to be "all day"? Why not post only on Mondays? Or, once a month?

A couple of weeks ago, I got started with Twitter, a social-networking thingamajig I'd thought beyond absurd until I read Seth Godin on the subject. If you want to follow me on Twitter, or "get the tweets," as they say, I promise not to barage you with news of my weekend plans, what I am eating, the state of my digestion, or the view out my office window. I don't use any of these social networking things (blog, facebook, twitter) to share my life per se, rather, I share books and links, in the spirit of what-goes-around-comes-around. In the past two years, my own life and writing have been immeasurably enriched by the information I've gleaned from the Internet. The challenge is to learn how to discern and dispatch quickly and effectively. And it is no small challenge.

Speaking of which, since I really don't have time for Twitter, I integrated it into the status bar of my facebook page-- two birds with one haiku, as it were.

Two quick links on the challenge:
-->To my blog post about Naomi S. Baron's book, Always On: Language in an Online and Mobile World
-->To poet, editor and web 2.0 diva Deborah Ager's blog post on Time Management for Poets

Maisel shares this link to a delightfully languid --- oh so antique--- interview with the King of the Absurd, (voici le wiki), Eugene Ionesco:<