Thursday, June 25, 2009

From Iran to MJ in a split second. So much for Twitter's reign of glory......

Just wanted to comment on the quick rise and fall of twitter from self-indulgent, narcissistic marketing tool to underground political movement and back to TMZ-like gossip tool.

It really seemed that Twitter had found a noble niche for itself and could actually propel the company to new heights. The Iranian Election dispute and ensuing demonstrations found a home on the young social site for the past couple weeks. People inside and outside of Iran were able to use the communication tool to raise the attention and awareness of the international media and in turn the world. Starting with small tweets in protest and growing into a place for protestors to schedule their meeting places and demonstrations and then to help gain a mass audience to witness some of the horrific scenes at some of these demonstrations popping up on YouTube culminating in the latest video of Tehran's 27-year old Neda Soltan dying in the streets from a fatal gunshot wound (WARNING: Very explicit and disturbing). These events drew so much attention that the internet savvy (or should I say Internets?) US President mentioned it in his speech yesterday.

Truly a sad and horrible day for Iran and the world in general. However, a great leap for the Twitter and the internet. The global village of Marshall McLuhan seemed to finally show its true power in this new social medium.

Then Michael Jackson passed away today along with Farrah Fawcett and the village burned to the ground.

Twitter immediately reverted back to it's old narcissistic self and great thinkers like Perez Hilton reared their ugly heads and slowly took back their little toy. Iran and any serious discussion has been wiped clean from the face of Twitter to be replaced with TMZ-like reporting of MJ's death, some jokes made in bad taste, dedicated fans mourning in the limelight of Twitter, marketers adding MJ and Farrah to their tweets to sell product, and so much more that was wrong with Twitter before the Iran Election. Although I remember MJ not being very popular for the last decade, there are a lot of people claiming to be big fans. Some of them are people you would not expect to be fans and are probably just maximizing their Twitter presence. Then rumors abound as people starting tweeting the deaths of Jeff Goldblum and Harrison Ford among others.

Meanwhile at the same time MJ's death was announced CNN reported that Neda Soltan's family was being driven from Tehran by the government for the gruesome video of her death being distributed around the world. No sign of it on Twitter.

I guess this is the way of communication on such a mass scale. As we learned with the dawn of broadcasting, the lowest common denominator will always rule the airwaves or the broadband in this case.

I do want to add as a side note to the families and friends of Neda Soltan, Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon, and even Michael Jackson I am sorry for your loss and know that you have a world of support during your time of grief.

© 2009 David La Cava. All Rights Reserved