Twitter as a subject to different

October 11, 2010

As a Web 2.0. tool of the social web, Twitter has the characteristic of being in permanent beta, due to upgrades and user input. The way how to use it, or its purpose for the users are herewith subject to different. For user use Twitter in different ways. One of new media’s principles is variability as Lev Manovich says; ‘A new media object (such as an Web site) is not something fixed once and for all but can exist in different (potentially infinite) versions’. For him variability is ‘a consequence of discrete representation of information and its numerical coding’.  In apply  to Twitter we see tweets of various thoughts and comments connected to pictures and links. As Manovich explains ‘old media involved a human creator who manually assembled textual, visual or audio elements into a particular sequence. This sequence was stored in some material, its order determined once and for all. Stored digitally, rather than in some permanent material, new media elements maintain their separate identity and can be assembled into numerous sequences. At the same time, because the elements themselves are broken into discrete samples, they can be customized on the fly’. Thus Twitter is indifferent to form for it can be used in several ways. In account of Katherine Hayles this notion of indifferent can be further explained as ‘we should rethink the relationship between form and content, more specifically between the material aspects of the medium used and the generated content. In the case of the so called new, this relationship is blatantly active: new media shape their own content (since the medium is not something that is “given” once and for all, but a structure that is discovered and produced by its use and content in an infinite movement of critical reappraisal)’. In not having a definite form one can say Twitters content can seen as determined by this by being indefinite as well. But what does this mean, are tweets meaningless?

Go back to the poem for more thoughts of Twitter.


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