Twitter is a ‘fad that will soon disappear,’ political blogger Paul Staines said yesterday.
Staines, who blogs under the alias Guido Fawkes, told participants at the Voices Online Blogging conference at City University that he has ‘not got the time’ to monitor the 3,000 + followers of @guidofawkes.
“How profound can you be in 140 characters?” he said. “I use Twitter to broadcast, but I go to individual bloggers for information.”
Staines argued that the increasing popularity of the site, boosted by celebrity users such as Stephen Fry and Oprah Winfrey, meant that ‘overload is inevitable’.
However, Mick Fealty (@mickfealty) creator of the Slugger O’Toole blog, agreed that Twitter is a ‘nightmare’ but insisted it remained an ‘important tool’ for journalists.
“I used it on the day of the US elections last November, when I was writing a live blog on the Slugger site,” he explained. “I canvassed for US readers to be mini-bloggers for one day.
He used feeds from people who were watching three or four American television networks, he said. “Within about two minutes I knew what had gone out on ABC, Fox and CNN, and I could give a clear judgement about what was going on.”
Fealty added that the site was an effective tool to generate information about an area where he had ‘no local or native knowledge’.
Twitter’s usefulness was a result of the ‘very smart and intelligent’ contacts he has made using it, he said.
“The value of Twitter is the value of people I follow,” he explained.
Journalism.co.uk reported from the Voices Online Blogging conference 2009. Follow @journalism_live on Twitter for live updates from a wide array of media events.