Jan 28, 2010

Still a twit

Twitter is now over three years old - an eternity in the Internet Age - and its place in the social media environment is still the subject of great dispute. There are as many opinions about The Great Twit as there are users and abusers of the platform. It's pretty much what you make of it, really.

The latter-day MLM freaks often tout Twitter as the ultimate marketing tool, citing hyperbolic cases, which even if true are of zero interest to me. I know how to make money, and I like how I do it when I have the time to do it, and Twitter just isn't part of my scheme, thank you. I use it for other things and get good value.

My partner is a harsh critic of Twitter. She has never used the tool, probably never will, but she reads about in on the BBC and elsewhere and forms an opinion. While she's at it, she copies a few hundred articles from the news, pastes them into e-mail and sends them to her brother, me (in the next room) and any number of friends, typing the recipients list out each time and wondering whom she forgot. It's interesting stuff, actually - she knows what I like to read and I appreciate the filter - but it wastes a lot of time. Even pasting the URL and writing a long and constantly varying recipient list is a productivity killer. Twitter would be so much better. In my stream of the twenty or so accounts I follow, I am supplied with a number of interesting links and short comments that give me a hint as to whether I want more information. I ignore most of it, but once in a while, something cool about publishing or children's books catches my eye or a colleague shares a hot tip or exciting news. Even the very short personal exchanges (hey Chris - what would you use for this term?) are helpful and faster than e-mail.

The key to managing the stream for me is to do just that: manage it. I love reading The Onion and I've found Guy Kawasaki an interesting fellow since the early days of the Mac, but I just can't deal with their Twitter streams. TMI. Too much information. Ditto some other comments I've seen lately, but I haven't delisted those feeds yet, because there's still a lot of useful stuff. I think some people need to remind themselves of the public nature of their feed. "No work for a week, maybe I should slash my rates" is not a smart thing to announce to the world. Nor are my comments about impending death from overwork, but the I'm used to the role of jester, and if someone thinks me a fool, I'll probably have to agree. The Tudor court & others need someone to play that role.

So how am I actually doing in living up to my own notions of how to tweet without being a twit? Here's the page of my most recent missives:
@bonnjill - I don't see how people can read about Americans banning dictionaries and NOT believe that they are descended from apes    4:42 PM Jan 26th   from Echofon  in reply to bonnjill
@germanwords Schlimmstenfalls Du benötigst 50 Seiten "Einarbeitung". Danach fließt eine sehr schöne Geschichte.... 4:40 PM Jan 26th from Echofon in reply to germanwords
@germanwords Doch. Follet schreibt für die Masse. Das Buch ist zwar groß, aber nicht komplizierter als z.B. Stein & Flöte. 4:38 PM Jan 26th from Echofon in reply to germanwords

@germanwords Säule der Erde? Auf EN hoffentlich. Gutes Buch im Original. 2:47 PM Jan 26th from Echofon in reply to germanwords

#memoQ version 4: more to it than just good looks :-) 2:17 AM Jan 26th from Echofon

Another high-pressure collaborative project successfully completed with the help of the #memoQ Server for concurrent translation & editing! 1:20 PM Jan 25th from Echofon

I will be sooo glad whe the N key on my laptop gets fixed! 12:42 PM Jan 25th from Echofon

118 comments & over 6500 in the German ProZ forum discussion (i DE & EN!) of unprofessional ads: http://tinyurl.com/ycyukp8 12:34 PM Jan 25th from Echofon

A failed remote server connection again this morning is a good reminder of the risks of online translation technology 9:07 AM Jan 25th from Echofon

RT: @Jeromobot: Heard a great quote this morning: "We won't change when we see the light; we change when we feel the heat." 2:37 AM Jan 25th from Echofon

Swiss legal German/English: http://www.swisslegalenglish.com/dictionary 11:56 PM Jan 24th from Echofon

Changed my ID on ProZ to "KSL Berlin". I cannot have my name associated with ads for rip-off diets and mail order brides. 6:05 PM Jan 24th from Echofon

 RT: @localization: RT @morsmal: Bilingualism:10 Myths. http://bit.ly/7BHdnL #mle #efl #esl #ece #edchat 1:55 PM Jan 24th from Echofon

Agriculture & dairy terminology dictionaries http://bit.ly/5NICF1 12:15 PM Jan 24th from Facebook

Excellent justification of machine translation on the eMpTy Pages: http://tinyurl.com/yjs5z5z 10:47 AM Jan 24th from Echofon

Any experience with #CafeTran out there? 2:25 AM Jan 24th from Echofon
Saved by the #memoQ Server: http://simmer-lossner.blogspot.com/2010/01/saved-by-server.html 1:27 PM Jan 23rd from Echofon

Phony projects continue to roll in... http://bit.ly/4z4MMz 12:15 AM Jan 23rd from Echofon

Ave, Maria! http://bit.ly/66GcyF 12:08 AM Jan 23rd from Facebook

The registration form for the professional translators' refuge Stridonium is working again: http://stridonium.com/ 10:35 PM Jan 22nd from Echofon 
Twenty tweets. As can be seen from all the notes about "Ecofon" as the source, I use a browser plug-in which allows me to monitor what's up while I do other things like look up terms or read background information on a topic I'm translation (or the news or whatever). There are two automatic notes from my Facebook page in there too. I'm not thrilled about having no control over what these look like, so I may cut off that publishing link and do it manually. Of the 20 posts, 14 (70%) are somehow directly relevant to my professional activities though tht isn't always obvious from the tweeted text. The three tweets about the Ken Follet book belong on the direct channel perhaps, but I left them public, because I happen to love the book in question (Pillars of the Earth) and thought maybe someone else might get curious ad read it. In the original English preferably. They keyboard comment is irrelevant and off the wall, but in the past few weeks a number of people have wondered what happened to my spelling/typing as my keyboard has failed bit by bit and the replacement keyboard has decided to play the sticky key game too. I'm better of throwing a snowball at the dog to blow off steam, I know. The book banning comment with indirect hints at William Jennings Bryan & Co.? Controversial, surely and destined to offend, but those who need political correctness at all times will quickly realize that I'm probably the wrong guy - the sooner, the better. We translators live by words, and I take strong personal offense at the banning of dictionaries - critical tools of our trade - from schools. So maybe that's 15 relevant posts (75%). Room for improvement, though it could be worse. I could tweet that I'm off to make a grilled cheese sandwich now!

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