Along with millions of others, I’m a Twitter skeptic.
I understand why someone would want to Tweet. If you’re a writer, or an individual or organization seeking promotion, why not? There’s an audience there.
What I haven’t figured out yet is how anyone consumes the damn things. It’s tough enough to deal with the flood of email and other electronic information we’re already inundated with every day.
It’s obvious that there’s something there. New web platforms don’t increase unique visitors from 475,000 to 7 million in a year without providing some kind of value. But I’m equally certain that the recent hype has been driven by a huge pack of journalists — i.e., those who control the means of production of hype — who jumped on the Twitter bandwagon.
One ominous data point for the Twitter phenomenon: Nielsen recently found that 60 percent of Twitter users abandon the service a month after they register for an account.
I’m even worse. After incessant badgering from Salt Lake City Weekly’s John Saltas, I finally signed up for an account two weeks ago and haven’t sent my first Tweet yet. (Nonetheless I already have 56 followers! I feel important!)
Despite my skepticism, I know that Twitter provides real value in an environment where large groups of like-minded people with wireless Internet activity gather for a common purpose. Like a convention, for instance.
So now to the original point of this blog post: I hereby pronounce the hashtag for this year’s AAN convention is #aan.
And here’s AAN’s Twitter page, in case you want to sign up as one of our followers.