Ten Questions to Mark 3000

if only you were a little smaller I'd eat you aliveSome time ago I made a deal with myself – that when my blog hit the 3000 comment mark, I would ask the person who contributed comment 3000 to write a blog post. That “lucky person” was Angus.

But rather than do a guest post, Angus suggested that we play battleships and chat. But between client meetings, late nights and general busy-ness, we have not been able to get together -  so the next best thing – this list of questions was sent through. And I am only just now getting around to posting it – sorry Angus! But somehow, I have ended up writing my own guest post (note to self: find other guest bloggers):

1.  What have you learned about people from communicating with them on Twitter?

People share surprisingly intimate details of their lives via Twitter. I don’t know whether this is a genuine desire to connect, a symptom of our culture of self-performance or a confession – but it is definitely fascinating. As a result, I have learned that people are far more generous and more open online than they often allow themselves to be in “real life”.

2.  Why do people try and tell me how to use twitter?  No-one told me how to use Facebook – I could decide to have as many or as few friends as I wanted and share whatever information I wanted.  Why do people seem to think you should use twitter 'their' way? 

I think there are two aspects to this. First, there are people who think they might make some money from providing advice or consultancy (or just drive traffic to their website). Second, it is human nature – we become so caught up in our own lives and interests that we think everyone should think the way we do. This also happens with new babies and with holiday snaps.

3.  Do you think 'ambient intimacy' could breed laziness or complacency, or is it enriching relationships?

I think we are already experience laziness in our relationships anyway. We can blame our work schedules or our commitments or a million other things, but this trend towards personal isolation has been happening since the 50s. Like any relationship we only get out what we put in and online relationships are no different to offline relationships.

4.  Do you think online relationships have made us more or less tolerant offline? 

Because online relationships are traceable (ie you can’t hide), I think this is driving some change in our tolerance levels. If we are horrible to work with, but “nice” online, it eventually catches up with us (and vice versa). Thanks to Google our reputation precedes us.

5.  Do you think the nature of online conversation is ever different in Australia to other parts of the world and why?

People from different cultures experience online identity and conversation in different ways. Australians, for example, participate in ways which are different from Americans, which is different from folks from India, China or Germany. This is not really unexpected – we would scarcely arrive in another country and expect it to be the same as home (why else after all would we travel?).

6.  Name three people who inspire you at the moment.

I have been very fortunate over the last year to fall into a circle of friends who inspire me with their generosity and the simple way that they care for each other. Jye Smith, Julian Cole and Scott Drummond make me optimistic for the future.

7.  What gets your goat the most at the moment?

People who tell others how to use Twitter.

8.  What's the biggest benefit of storytelling in your view?

A good story connects us with the emotion of life. Or as Kafka wrote, it is “the axe for the frozen sea inside us”. When hit with the axe, all pretence falls away. We cannot hide. I love that.

9.  Does Twitter help or hinder with storytelling?

Having access to pens and paper doesn’t make us a great writer – so too with Twitter. In the hands of a great storyteller, Twitter can be a marvel.

10.  When are you going to visit Marcus in Germany and will you help him steal Armano's cowboy hat? 

I was hoping to have visited Marcus by now. I really expected to visit Germany for work last year – but it never happened. And while I don’t mind travelling for work, I also feel guilty about having a carbon footprint the size of a small European country. We may need to maintain our ambient intimacy for the foreseeable future.

As to Dave’s hat, I believe it is under constant security. But given the chance, I will snaffle it!

Comments

  1. “Find other guest bloggers” – ha! Cheeky bugger.
    But you’re right, this does result in you writing your own guest post – apologies Gavin. I’m also sorry we haven’t yet managed to play battleships – I’m still looking forward to that. That said, if my emergency replacement passport comes through on Friday morning, t’will have to wait another 2.5 weeks sadly. One day…
    Your answers are fabulous – thank you for generously humouring me and responding. Your answer to number 7 is my favourite.

  2. Well worth the wait. The Kafka quote had me drawing my breath in sharply.

  3. Not too sharply I hope Sir.

  4. It used to be there were two things in life people always felt they had a write to comment and provide advice on – property and parenting.
    Now with Twitter there’s three.

  5. Now that you mention it, it is a wonder that “How to Parent” guides haven’t started appearing on Slideshare. Or maybe there are!?

  6. Thanks, Charles. I think that is my favourite ever Kafka quote. I have it written out and framed by my desk.

  7. If only Kafka had read the following:
    http://tinyurl.com/cpcx33 ;-)

  8. “People who tell others how to use Twitter.” – So true. While there are of course certain strategies and tactics that can be used for certain outcomes, Twitter is a deeply personal journey that resonates any other form of personal communication, even offline. I wish more people would realise and respect this…

  9. Quiet interesting and fabulous answers you have given.

  10. Australians appear to have a well developed crap filter, perhaps better said a healthy degree of skepticism – e.g. always found the same AU online Ads pale in comparison to EU and US click-throughs!
    On another note, I like this blog: the amalgamation of varying topics makes for rich read, actually inspires me to do similar.
    Funny how I found this: started a twitter poem under the pseudonym of Mehmet Karagöz, searching for like minded twitters – I googled and found your site, realizing your were a speaker at the recent Adtech Sydney?

  11. Isnt it a pure phenoma, how twitter goes from strength to strength, the thing I love is that there seems to be too many so called experts on all things twitter. Then when you are on twitter everyone is an expert on something else as well..
    AHh the twitter universe will never rest as long as there is a being who may pay attention to anything being said by anybody.
    Love it.
    Rich

  12. Mate, honoured as always to be mentioned. You, Obi-Wan, will remain one of my great inspirations. Very glad to have met you last year as well.
    Thanks, Gav.

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