Plumbing the shallows of Twitter
One of the ways that you may have come to read this story is because I have tweeted it. I wouldn’t say I have a love-hate relationship with Twitter – more a blowing hot and cold one. Rather like those annoying people in relationships who sometimes are all over you and at others just can’t be bothered and would rather tidy their flat or drink with their mates, I have days of great activity and others of ignoring twitter altogether. Mostly I like it, although I am still not sure what it is FOR.
Anyway, Building Design has recently published a list of its top 10 architecture critics and journalists on Twitter. There is an unsurprising and acceptable degree of nepotism. The list includes executive editor Ellis Woodman and online editor Anna Winston, as well as former staffer Oliver Wainwright and regular contributor Owen Hatherley. Interestingly news editor Andrea Klettner didn’t make the cut, although Peerindex placed her higher than Winston. And top of the list is Hugh Pearman, who edits rival publication the RIBA Journal.
Lists like this are always fun, and there is always a wistful moment of thinking ‘could this have been’. My first reaction was to tweet a link to the story accompanied by ‘Could try harder’. But of course the strength of Twitter lies in its diversity. Just as we don’t all want to see the same films or eat the same food, so we should follow those who help, inspire, amuse or perhaps irritate us. In fact one rule may be that you should follow at least one person with whom you disagree profoundly.
For some Twitter is crucial – for instance the winning team of the recent Flitched competition who met through Twitter. For most it is fun, as long as you don’t let it take over your life, and occasionally enlightening. And, like so many things, the best way to find out what it is for is to engage. You have nothing to lose except a few minutes a day.