Monday, 1 December 2008

Oh twit, twoo! Don't be such a twit. OR My top 10 twitterers

Today, my twitter went a little bit crazy, or at least my inbox alerts about new followers did. It felt a smidgeon like an invasion to my little niche clique, where, like when I was originally on the internet (er, 14 years ago - which is totally, like, seeing the Rolling Stones play a mediocre show to 10 people), I swapped links and blabbered whatever, whenever, knowing only a thimble-full of like-minded peoplez were reading. Twitter - like Friendster, MySpace, Facebook, LiveJournal and many more before and in-between - is a little like geeks anonymous, only you don't need to hide anything, you can be fully 'out' of the laboratory, wearing your scruffy anorak and sipping a slim soya cappuccino with a sprinkle of nutmeg and only brown sugar, plz.

The great thing about being an early'ish adopter on social networking sites is that you get to 'hang' with other early adopters, who are not only are first on that 'platform' but they're the pioneers of technologies, the first to try out new restaurants, the people who know where the best coffee shops are. These are the people who can already tell you what band will matter to you next year. They know what Google and Obama are upto before newspaper editors do. These are the kids growing up trying to find the next 'hit', in both senses of the word. I know this because I'm one of them.

Now, as the web grows and things shift so quick, I still fear - despite the fact I'm using stuff most people (i.e. the mass, the hive, whatever...) might use five years from now, or more likely never - that I'm no longer hip, no longer a trailblazer running around like a loon in freshly cut grass, leaving nothing but footprints. That was the joy of Napster before it was outed as being evil and then, er, a decade later the industry held up its grubby hands having hung its salvation. Those rushes of exploring things which didn't quite work yet and the fuzz of sharing in something which only a few people are/were using but something which in years from now might be the new phonograph, gramophone or BBC, was special. Just thinking about it makes me gooey and strangely nostalgic for a not-too-distant past. I can't wait to discover what might be over the next hump, and I have a few inklings but R2D2 style phone projectors and the music industry ripping itself up and starting again, still seems some way off.

Thankfully it doesn't seem like my mum will be joining Twitter to poke me like she does, and school 'friends' that I hoped never to speak to again do, on Facebook. No, no, Twitter will remain a mini-blog clique and link-sharing, viral snowball fight of the proudly geeky for quite some time. I feel a little safer knowing the reason for the flurry of new followers was this post about the top 10 music industry types to follow .

So seeing as it seems to be all the rage to blog your top 10 (ten) people to follow on Twitter, here're my suggestions, in no particular order...

The Blog Queen: Ultragrrrl
I've known Sarah since running my first email blog a decade ago. She's since become a renown blogger, dj, label boss and now tv host. She 'tweets' alsorts of stuff about songs, bands, boys and Starbucks coupons.

The King of MP3 Blogs: Fascinated
Anthony is the man, mind and frustrated-but-liberated music fan behind the Hype Machine, which has revolutionized the way people consume and understand music blogs. He's often travelling to conferences and sharing insights from the tech, music and general tourist world.

The Legend: StephenFry
If you're on Twitter you're bound to be following his constantly entertaining adventures across the world and his journeys through technology and tidbits about anything. Last week I learnt that he's a fan of Explosions in the Sky, am not sure whether my surprise says more about my lack of expectations for older people to know about good modern music or whether it says more about his constant striving to find greatness in all fields.

The News: BBCbreaking
Is great for delivering just the big headlines, most of which I miss or don't realise are bigger than everything else in the unmanageable muddle of RSS feeds that is my Google Reader.

Music News: theDailySwarm
Their site is great for filtering out the best news stories and like DrownedinSound's twitter they have a feed set-up of their news headlines. DiS uses twitterfeed to do this for our site, which was really simple to do.

The Upstart: CatherineAD
Life-affirming new musician documenting her rise, rants, listening addictions and various news.

Food Guide: FoodbyMark
By day he's booking agent for the likes of Panic at the Disco and Falloutboy but my night (and lunch and breakfast) he's a roaming food critic, exploring and devouring his way from meeting to meeting to pre-gig, all around the globe (but mostly London).

Indie Label Legend: SlimMoon
He started Kill Rock Stars and has been involved in assorted moments of amazing music.

Useful to know: FakeSensations employee, musician and reformed music journalist, who's often posting links to interesting music, tech and comedy stuff, as well as projects he's working on.

The Start-Up / Keynote: IanCR
He's the man behind TopSpin who're the people behind various pioneering album release methods, like the Dandy Warhols club and David Byrne and Brian Eno giveaways. Often posts useful links.

That's 10. Who / what do you suggest I should be following? Do you find Twitter creepy? Should I have moved over to Tumblr already or is there something even better out there?


Jonathan said...

Nice list Sean - although perhaps now @tonybenn should be added. Stephen Fry is so over ;-)

I think you're right about Twitter not becoming as mainstream as Facebook though. Although it will see much higher adoption than it currently has, there's something distinctly geeky and niche about sharing links and (gasp!) actually engaging in conversation, rather than simply poking each other and tagging photos of friends in a drunken state.

Thanks for the link to my post too.

christopher lars carlson said...

i found my way here via the top 10 list you were mentioned on and after reading this post, i feel like a bit of an ass for beginning to follow you. that said, i'm simply a music student preparing to forge his way into this industry. i'm determined to connect with the ppl leading the way and you seem to be in that group (i'm a huge fan of iancr and topspin and am glad that he made your list). so, i hope you don't mind yet another email today from twitter about yet another person following you. i look forward to learning/sharing more on tweetville.

Anonymous said...

Twitter seems to elicit gasps of dismay for non-geeks but to hell with them. I appreciate the digestibility of the short messages you can post. It feels immediate, simple and useful - the links from other music folk are golddust to me. So, no idea what Thumblr is but new apps are proliferating so fast that they can't all be taken up with the same degree of zest. Lol remember how long it took for Friendster to cede to Facebook? Perhaps the turnover will accelerate until all meaning is eroded. I'm digging in my heels (and avoiding Digg). Happy New Year Sean! :)

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