I thought a Tweetup was a gathering of Tweeters at one venue and they all go on their mobile devices to Tweet on Twitter. Imagine my surprise when my ﬁrst Tweetup, to which I was invited by my old friend Simon Young (@audaciousgloop to those of you on Twitter, and photographed above), was actually a normal social gathering, at the Malthouse on Courtenay Place last Friday.
The differences include the following, and they are indicative of life in 2009:
• people made introductions by their Twitter handles in some cases, not their real names;Sy and I had a good chat about how the virtual landscape has changed since we met in 2000, when we thought email groups were still cool things, and we had been using Google for about a year. Sy’s on the forefront on a lot of these new-media, Web 2·0 developments, working a lot on the cloud, and expanding his expertise with a lot of the latest thinking from around the world.
We discussed over dinner some of Loïc Le Meur’s ventures in San Francisco and we both agreed that his approach would be one we’d like to follow ourselves: have a great network with sources to fund new ideas that have mass appeal. But we also reminisced—because to both of us, email is dead as a medium.
It’s a chore, a means to send attachments, but it no longer provides the same level of pleasure as it once did. In most respects it has replaced the traditional letter. I enjoy it on days when I can keep on top of the volume—though I have met people over the last two years who think that my getting 2,000–3,000 emails a week is nothing compared to what they get. I also enjoy it on days when I’m doing business development for my work—I get the same buzz I did when email was open to those early adopters, all willing to build a global network with a bit of Clinton-era optimism.
I said to Simon that I needed to learn to be a rude bastard and not reply to everyone—a bad habit I had from the ofﬂine days. I do, however, wonder what the convention is. I have messages going back to 2003 that need replies—a few weeks ago I had a good catch-up on 2005 emails.
So, in 2009 is it acceptable to leave things unanswered, as people move from one favoured, trendy medium to the next (email in the 1990s–mid 2000s, to Facebook in 2006–8, to Twitter in 2008–9) and that someone in the modern world simply “understands” that one is no longer available on a certain medium? Are people now expected to keep up with which is the next popular medium and get attention with others by predicting where they will be next on the internet? And if I can’t cope as well today with a few thousand emails a week, how are those of you with 5,000–10,000 or more managing—on top of your Facebook DMs, Tweets and SMS text messages? Posted by Jack Yan, 13:19
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