Cracked and Flimsy Slate

I can count on one paw the number of articles I’ve read on Slate. I am definitely thinking this rag is worth it best virtual fish wrapping, and mostly is a waste of web code and server electricity.

They are not alone, but lobbing the criticisms at Twitter like in What Are You Doing? The allure of Twitter, the latest Web sensation are as simplistic and thoughtful as catching fish in a barrel with a shotgun.

Of course you can dismiss its potential by culling off the easy to find fluff tweets like “listening to Curious George in the background while drinking terroir coffee whose headquarters happen to be 5 minutes away” and “Just recovered from a night of playing WoW.” Yep, that is enough dedicated journalism and thoughtful research. Yep.

You could just as easily condemn all journalism but reviewing the best articles from The National Enquirer. You could prove all of Hollywood has no value by a careful review of Happy Gilmore films. You could dismiss all of television by snipping lines from “Entertainment Tonight”.

That Slate is paper thin in its transparency:

Twitter is also a Web 2.0 sensation that’s hyped on all the blogs, which means it’s a motley free-for-all environment

Oh, boldly stated!

So many people would not be devoting time here if there were not value for a good chunk of them. How can that be dismissed in such uber cool hip, look down my Slatey nose at you Twitter losers? What about libraries syndicating RSS updates (which via Twitter can reach mobile phones…) or how people can connect and be in touch in a natural disaster or ways twitter is used for productivity or how student teams from 5 schools around the world use it to update each other on their project or the way someone is using twitter to monitor a server or Andy Carvin’s ideas on how twitter might save lives???????

I find it disturbing and worrisome that people, educated ones at that, would so quickly jump to dismiss the potential of a technology based on the easily targeted shallow uses of the content one most easily finds there. Do I kiss off the potential of the transistors and microchips in my TV because of the sap of The Donald and wannabes on the Apprentice?

And the mag rag hardly earned any more favor with their wafer thin “analysis” of the NBA playoffs, dissing my home town Suns:

Historical context: In 39 years of existence, the Suns have never won a title, but the people of Phoenix did throw them a 300,000-person strong “good effort” parade after they lost to the Bulls in the 1993 Finals. Aww, Phoenix, the Special Olympics of cities.

Slate, Shmate. Oh, and I can easily dismiss their entire web presence based on the experience of following a discuss link:


I’ve seen better writing inside the stalls of public restrooms. Plaffffff. Nevahhh to return.

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as @cogdog@cosocial.ca


  1. The jump to judge twitter sounds a lot like those who said similar things about blogs. Just as one cannot judge the merit of blogs by those who write about their dining habits and bowel movements, one must also not judge twitter by the innocuous twitterers out there who just talk about the menial.

    The value of any tool is determined by the people who use it. Twitter is perfect for those of us who are innundated with everything — it gives us a digest of the biggest happenings in the day and makes it so that we can get and give information in palatable chunks. I now find that before even checking e-mail that I check twitter first.

    I learned about the terrible Tragedy at Virginia Tech before anyone else at school when I checked twitter and saw Andy Carvin’s rushed post.

    It is about the effective contributors using it as a tool. I agree that the journalism that you have cited seems poorly informed. One should try something before jumping to judgement. I think a well created twitter feed could be akin to a “beat” that the reporters used to make by walking around certain areas of town. It just keeps one connected.

  2. Rave on, big dog. Favorite pull quote: “I find it disturbing and worrisome that people, educated ones at that, would so quickly jump to dismiss the potential of a technology based on the easily targeted shallow uses of the content one most easily finds there.”

    As Vicki notes, and as you document very well throughout your post, these words can be applied to most technologies. Somehow it’s the educated people, though, who can really get my dander up. You’d sure think they’d know better. I suppose they’ve been trained out of that kind of humility. Alas!

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