Twitter lovers: watch out for baseball bats!

I was in the mainstream media here in Edmonton twice today for Twitter-related stories. Basically, the local media’s love affair with Twitter continues! First up, Metro Edmonton (@metroedmonton). They asked me about politicians on Twitter, and specifically about Councillor Don Iveson, who I encouraged to join the service. Here’s my quote:

“It shows that governments are in the know, connected and paying attention to what people are passionate about,” said Edmonton tech guru Mack Male (@mastermaq). “Right now, young people seem to be big on Twitter.”

I was responding to the possibility that Councillor Iveson and others may use Twitter as a way to connect with a younger demographic. I think that’s totally possible, and I expect we’ll hear more about that at ChangeCamp. I think it’s great that Don has joined, and that it’s actually him tweeting.

Secondly today, I was a guest on CBC’s Wildrose Country phone-in program (@WRoseCBC). They were interested in my recent live tweeting of an Edmonton Symphony Orchestra event. One of the people who called in was ‘Bob’. He thought my tweeting was entirely disrespectful and said:

“mastermaq should be hit in the head with a baseball bat!”

I’m not sure why he felt the need to be so violent, but his reaction isn’t entirely surprising. Many people are afraid of social media because they don’t understand it, and they react accordingly. On air, I advised Bob and others like him not to focus on the individual, potentially meaningless tweets in isolation, but to recognize that once aggregated together, there’s incredible value in the noise that Twitter facilitates. It’s going to happen (helping you make sense of the clutter), whether Bob likes it or not. In the meantime, tweet away!

I also feel that the “disrespectful” feeling about tweeting is largely a generational thing that will change over time. I could be wrong about that, but I don’t think so. If everyone is used to others texting in a variety of situations, it’s no longer odd or abnormal. Perceptions will then fall in line.

I’m guessing that CBC will post the segment online, but I’m not sure – check the website for details. I’ll update this post with a link if they do.

Thanks to everyone who listened and sent me encouraging comments this afternoon during the CBC segment. I have to admit that having Bob on the show made the discussion a bit more interesting, and if that’s what it takes to get Twitter more accepted and into the mainstream, I say bring it on.

Just watch out for crazy people with baseball bats!