Recently I’ve been wondering about the sticking power of Twitter. The people I have my eye on who tend to turn before the tide does have been getting itchy feet about it, and whispers about the second dotcom bubble are now even reaching the mainstream media. It’s fair to wonder ‘what happens next’ to companies like Twitter valued as high as they are whilst still making a loss – do they turn to ads, with premium ad-free accounts? Do they make their money out of apps (too much competition)? Or will they just become bloated, too big for conversation (Myspace, and now facebook’s problem)? But… migrating from Twitter? It feels like an surprisingly emotional thing to be thinking about. Twitter has played such a large role in my finally feeling part of an arts and politically active community as well as providing the opportunity to meet and work with some wonderful people, and to make some wonderful friends.
It means a lot to me that limping my bike home to an empty house, shaking slightly, after being hit by a car, I can tweet my shock, and be.. well, cared about (however fleetingly) by above a 50 people. But then I remember that it’s the people, not the medium, that matters. If we all move to what Diaspora or Beluga might turn into – or something else that doesn’t exist yet – the medium may change, but I don’t think the web will stop being social, stop weaving our lives together. I’ll still see the snapshots of @joethedough‘s baby boy growing up confusedly in silly hats, hear about the regular ‘offstage’ characters like @SlunglowAlan‘s cheese-pilfering lodgers, and care about @Andyvglnt’s earnest battle with anxiety and depression mixed with the best new punk and hardcore recommendations this side of the Atlantic.
These thoughts about Twitter, or the form of communication and interception that it has brought to my (our) lives have been bubbling at the surface of my mind particularly because over the past two weeks I’ve been working on a theatre/twitter investigation in Manchester. Catherine Edwards and North West Playwrights brought together three writer/performers, Alex Kelly from Third Angel as a (loosely termed) director, and myself as a tech-ish art specialist to look at the possibilities and challenges of creating ‘theatre’ (performance/drama) on twitter. Or through twitter, perhaps, as it ends IRL, with a performance at DAT Fest in Stoke next weekend under the name of ‘Twitterbug‘. Continue Reading →