By George W. Mantor
RISMEDIA, November 13, 2009-If your email inbox looks anything like mine, you get a lot of unsolicited attempts to sell you something.
Take the Nigerian Scam. For sheer reading pleasure, nothing matches the deeply detailed stories of how there is an enormous sum of money sitting around somewhere unattended and, if I would only pay the small cost of obtaining the “letters of transit” or some nonsense, the money would be deposited in my account and we could split it. They sound so sincere.
The signature line is always creative: “Yours in wondrous loving prosperity, The Honorable Sahaammhungawra, “Sam” Myutgwombo, Assistant Chair for Oversight of The Central Bank.”
It must work or they’d stop doing it. It just goes to show you that if you cast a wide enough net, someone will buy what you are selling. This and similar emails are shot-gunned far and wide. But, because of the business I’m in, my email address has been sold more times than a Bernie Madoff security.
Everyday there are a handful of offers for sure fire, guaranteed to close, high quality leads. It’s ironic. They think I’m a lead but I’m really just an email address with a good spam filter and a well worn delete key.
Outside of the specifically real estate related email, I get a lot of general business solicitations. Lately, it seems as though a lot of prestigious sounding bodies want to include me in their “Exclusive” Who’s Who.
Here’s a line from one, “It is my pleasure to inform you that on July 25, 2009, your information was reviewed and accepted for inclusion in the 2009/2010 edition of Presidential Who’s Who, which each year, recognizes and selects key executives, professionals and organizations in all disciplines and industries for outstanding business and professional achievements.”
Which could be considered flattering if it were not for the fact that in June it was Strathmore’s Who’s Who and before that it was The Princeton Who’s Who…not to be confused with the Ivy League University of the same name. And now, The Global Directory of Who’s Who has contacted me. Can it be that there are so many who’s whos that a directory of them is necessary?
That doesn’t sound very exclusive to me. As a matter of fact, it reminds me of the Gilbert and Sullivan line from the musical the Gondoliers, “When everybody is somebody, nobody is anybody.”
It doesn’t matter. In the words of Groucho Marks, “I wouldn’t join any organization that would have me as a member.” If they are asking me, it can’t be very prestigious.
Recently, a lot of the chirping has been all about the business value of Twitter and how to put it to work. One method promised up to two more closings per month. In fact, Twitter is the buzz of the moment.
If you are shaking your head and asking how we ever got by before Twitter, don’t read this. I know I’m going to come across as a crusty old curmudgeon for saying this so, first, I want to establish my credentials as somewhat technically proficient…to a point. And, you can check this out; I was one of the very first to Tweet.
Gman13, they call me…down at the aviary.
Back to the point at hand, which is, since then, I’ve used it once. And, that was to announce an appearance on FOX Business Network. So, for those of you who were tempted to say that you hadn’t heard a peep out of me for a while, I beat you to it.
But, on the flip side, I don’t hear much from my followers either. Which begs the question, what’s it for?
It’s not personal. It’s just that there isn’t much I can say of interest in 140 characters. The writer in me resists the notion of arbitrary limitations. It’s like entering a contest. “Submit your answer in 25 words or less to…”
Oh, and if you were wondering, 140 characters is about 25 words. Or, abt 300 wrds n txt.
But, that isn’t what Twitter is about. Twitter is a tap on the shoulder, a “Psst, hey did ya hear?”
It could be a link to a blog or a webpage. Its value lies in whether or not the Twittor has anything of value to tweet about to the Twitees. How long will it be until the Tweets become automated? When does the mundane become harassment?
Is Twitter the new frontier of communication? Probably not, but it is part of something. It’s fast, it’s free, for now, and it’s mobile. But, so is instant messaging, email, and texting. Do they improve communication? Not really.
I haven’t adapted to texting. According to my phone, I’ve sent a grand total of 35 text messages in two years. One reason is that I don’t like to communicate on the fly.
When it comes to writing, I prefer stationary to mobile, and a full size key board. I need glasses to read, but not to drive, so I don’t text and drive.
Driving requires all of my attention. I can’t carry on a conversation with a passenger let alone try to communicate via cell phone, texting, or tweets. In my world all should be illegal while driving.
So should applying make up, reaching into the back seat and cooking anything that requires an open flame.
Just seeing what the rest of you are doing while behind the wheel keeps me riveted on my driving mantra, “Let nothing touch the car.”
Another reason I don’t text, is impatience. If I have to hit a key more than twice to get the letter I want, I’m letting spell check and the editor deal with it. The very idea of communicating entirely by thumb has to be fraught with clumsiness. Where did the term all thumbs come from?
Some people believe that these new means of communication are destroying the language and robbing us of the ability to write logically and critically. Apparently, our schools already achieved that. What has happened is that we have created a divide in how we communicate between generations.
I can and will adapt to and make use of Twitter, but for those who have nothing to say, it will be a passing fad.
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