Am I @ruskin wasting my time by tweeting?

EARLIER this week we had a lecture from the man with the job gadget-obsessed luvvies envy – the BBC’s Technology Correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones. We see him in Tokyo and California road testing the latest mobiles, robots, and readers.

In every lecture so far we have been bombarded with ceaseless praise for all that’s new in the social media world. Cellan-Jones, however, brought some perspective to events. Questioned about Twitter, he said “doubtless it will go out of fashion soon”. It may have been a throw away remark, but it brought a smile and a hoorah from a few of my classmates who have little enthusiasm for it, and one or two who have flatly refused to sign-up and start perpetually tweeting like a canary on gas.

He told us that of 150 emails he receives each day, only a few are worth considering further. Cellan-Jones will have seen social media fads come and go. And as we discovered with his cynicism and confusion about the new “personal communication and collaboration tool” from Google – Google Wave is yet to convince and take off since it was launched back in May.

And yet, he does recognises the potential social media sites like Twitter offer, however long they last, in being able to directly and easily engage with his audience. In his latest report for BBC News about a new computer system targeted at the older generations he tweeted to find a willing OAP to test the computer and found Betty who was offered up by a relative.

This lecture’s lesson? Give it a go, it wont do any harm, and you may just get something out of it.

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