Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

August 9, 2013

Views from the TwitterVerse and beyond

By Bob Belcher
Corsicana Daily Sun

— I still remember fondly (I’m not sure why) the excitement I felt back in the early 1990s when I received my first fax.

Like I said, I’m not sure why I remember — or why I was excited — but I do.

It was the dawn of the Internet age, when such things were brand new.

We didn’t have email yet (that was reserved for the big-wigs) but by golly, those thermal rolls of fax paper were all the rage back in the day.

Fast forward the last couple of decades, and we’ve got more computing power in our smartphones today than IBM had in its fanciest desktops of the era.

(Didn’t our own Dan Wilkie invent those? Seems to me he did.)

Today, you got your Facebook, your Instagram, your Vine, your MySpace (well, if your old like me) and are “as one” with the World Wide Web.

But my favorite of all the modern day Internet vices has got to be Twitter.

For those of you a step ahead of me — yes, I’m a Twit(ter).

I don’t spend a lot of time each day with it, but that’s the beauty of Twitter — its information that’s fed in short, little 140 character messages that help you decide what you want to know more about, or ignore and move on.

I use it to keep tabs on news, mostly. I “follow” all the major news services (and, also, Fox News — wouldn’t dare lump them in that other group).

Certain writers and reporters are also on my “follow” list, along with a spattering of journalist-types I’ve met through the years.

For me, it’s an almost-guiltless pleasure — like those little individual snack packs that have three Whoppers in them.

I get a little pleasure without spending a lot of time, and a “taste” of what’s going on.

And, occasionally, I’m enlightened with knowledge I was totally unaware of, when someone I’m following “re-Tweets” something they’ve seen.

It’s can be kind of like a “grab bag” of news — some important, some whimsical, and some just flat out “off the wall.”

Here are some examples of the TwitterVerse captured this week:

“French McDonalds better than US McDonalds in so many ways” — no, I didn’t click on the link to find out why, but who’d have thought? Must be the fries ...

Some of the Tweets I see are more philosophical in nature.

“Skip the anger and go straight to the hurt.” — Pity, there was no link to explain that. Might have been interesting.

Then, there was this great one from CBS News from a presidential press conference.

“Obama: I’d be concerned about possible surveillance abuse, too, if I wasn’t in the government.” — That one kind of stands for itself, doesn’t it?

One “Tweeter” I follow is Slate Magazine — they seem to always have a “different” take on things.

“This actually sounds pretty sweet — Tokyo researches create bathtub iPad.” — I’d need something with a hook on it for the shower arm, myself.

One of my favorite sites is “The Onion” — it’s what I’d classify as the “Mad Magazine of the Internet era” filled with spoofs and parody.

“HR sends out second reminder about covering the Navel.”

Here are a couple more from “The Onion” I loved — a perfect bit of comedic relief in a hectic newsroom.

“Winning lottery numbers so obvious in hindsight.”

“45,589,321 healthy kale recipes to try this summer.”

But my favorite “Tweet of the Week” has to be this one from the obviously-feline slanted site “CatTipps.”

“Poop-less cat invented in the 1970s; powerful cat litter lobby destroyed all research. Very sad.”

Yes, very sad, and absolutely hilarious!

Happy Tweeting!

                      —————

Bob Belcher is Managing Editor of the Daily Sun. His column appears on Saturdays. He may be reached by email at bbelcher@corsicanadailysun.com. You can also follow him on Twitter: @belcherblog