Even a few years ago the word "blog" inspired that peculiar mix of derision and dismissal that seems to haunt new media innovations long after they're proven. A blogger was a lonely, pajama-clad person in a dark room, typing out banal musings he mistook for interesting ones, to be read by a handful of friends or strangers if they were read at all.
That blogs have now become a fixture of media and culture might, you'd think, give critics pause before indulging in another round of new media ridicule. But it ain't so.
Twitter, the micro-messaging service where users broadcast short thoughts to one another, has been widely labeled the newest form of digital narcissism. And if it's not self-obsession tweeters are accused of, it's self-promotion, solipsism or flat out frivolousness.
But naysayers will soon eat their tweets. There's already a vibrant community of Twitter users who are using the system to share and filter the hyper-glut of online information with ingenious efficiency. Forget what you had for breakfast or how much you hate Mondays. That's just lifecasting.
Mindcasting is where it's at.
The distinction is courtesy of Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu), a journalism professor and new media analyst at New York University. For him, Twitter is a new way to conduct a real-time, multi-way dialogue with thousands of his colleagues and fellow netizens.
"Mindcasting came about when I was trying to achieve a very high signal-to noise-ratio," he explained. This meant using his Twitter account to send out tweets pointing to the best media news and analysis he could find, 15 or 20 times a day. "I could work on the concept of a Twitter feed as an editorial product of my own."
As Rosen noted, that product is itself a distillation of the huge stream of input he gets from the nearly 550 journalists, analysts and news outlets he follows on Twitter. "I've hand-built my own tipster network," he said. "It's editing the Web for me in real time."....
Read the rest....then start following Jay on Twitter and stop laughing at the phenomenon: