Loretta Lockhorn speaks for me.
Recently, I had lunch with a cartoonist and we were talking about social media. I said that I don't see a great value in Twitter because there is so little back-and-forth and it really seems more like an advertising medium than a truly "social" medium like Facebook or, in the olden days, Usenet.
A woman at the next table did an "I couldn't help overhearing ..." and told us that, as an editor at a book publishing firm, she finds Twitter invaluable and that, if you properly use and sort through your hashtags, there's a lot of conversation going on there and it's crucial.
Well, yes, particularly if you happen to be holding the key to who gets their work published and paid for.
She could probably live in a barrel in the woods and there would be a line of people standing on the beaten path to her door.
For my part, I offer daily Twitter updates for people who want to follow me, but the 140-character limit makes it hard to do more than hint about what's going on here each day.
Meanwhile, I'm about three weeks from my fifth year of doing this and I have (knock wood) updated every day of those nearly-five-years.
So I could simply tweet "I did it again," though it wouldn't qualify as news.
However, I decided to ramp it up a bit with #tags and @tags and see what happened, and the answer is, I'm not sure because Charlie Hebdo is what happened and so my hits jumped anyway. But I'm willing to continue the experiment.
What I'm finding on the other end -- making more of an effort to follow more people and see what they've got to offer -- is that there's a lot of non-specific "come look at this" which often turns out not to be as interesting as I had hoped.
The solution is to only follow enigmatic invitations from thoughtful people and to stop following people entirely if they live on Twitter and, as Loretta suggests, are not doing much of anything with their lives except tweeting.
Still, the one-sided "come look at my stuff" stuff is what quickly drove me away from Google-Plus, where I found people adding me to their circles solely for self-promotion and not because they wanted to hear anything I had to say or, certainly, to come look at my stuff.
A textbook case of "But enough about you; let's talk about me!"
I do think that Twitter has value as a promotional tool, and that may be damning with faint praise, but I also think that's what it's supposed to be, so, fine.
But for hanging out, I like the less enigmatic, more socially interactive nature of Facebook.
Not only are people able to give you more of a clue as to why they think you should check out a link or play a video, but there is feedback and even conversation.
Add this: You can click on something that is "trending" on Facebook and get a raft of links, but they indicate their sources. Following hashtags on Twitter provides a list of potentially interesting links with vague-if-any context.
All of which means that, while it's also possible to stay well-informed on Twitter, I think on Facebook you go up fewer blind alleys.
Granted, there's also a lot of spam and foolishness on Facebook, but most of it is harmless clutter, like the quizzes that tell you what character in a book or movie you are.
Though I would like an app that would track down and blow up the computers of people who "share" the fact that they looked at Oakley sunglasses, and I'd also like to live in a world where people actually read the comments before adding their own pensees.
But you can block game invitations and you can unfollow people who consistently publish nonsense without unfriending and thus offending them.
(BTW, if you notice someone who regularly posts the day's cartoon on FB but never responds to comments, they are using an autoloader and not really visiting the page. That's spam, pal: Feel free to unfollow or unfriend.)
You can even block other people's trolls, so that you don't have to see their comments in your friends' postings, though it can make the conversation seem a bit disjointed.
I assume I can do some more sophisticated unfollowing and filtering in Twitter and get the flow of spam and clutter under control. I'm working on it.
This old dog isn't entirely against learning new tricks, after all, but I miss the more intimate environs of Usenet, back when it was like the corner tavern.
Oh well. He not busy being born is busy dying.
Meanwhile, this old dog got a good laff out of the poke Rick Stromoski took at the young pups in Thursday's Soup to Nutz.
People who carry phones they won't answer are as bad as companies that put up websites with contact links but then never check their email.
Elsewhere on the funny pages:
I love Agnes when it's funny, but I love it even more when it isn't. I don't know anyone else with Tony Cochran's ability to grab the heartstrings without going for gooey bathos.
I'm not even ashamed of myself for laughing.
Okay, I'm a little ashamed.
The worst part is that he's right: Poor Trout calmly accepts the only reality she has ever had.
Cochran doesn't have to break stride to break your heart.
Go look at his stuff:
I'm not trying to be an enigmatic twit. It's just that Boulet's latest cartoon uses a technique I assume won't reproduce here but that you have to see in full context anyway.
It's worth the click. I promise.