(This post was prompted by a Twitter conversation between Aaron aka @culturalsavage and moi from earlier this afternoon, Nov-15-12.)
In the 20+ years that Imbi and I owned a post-house in Toronto (an editing, graphics and post-audio facility called Scene by Scene®), we worked on thousands of interstitials for broadcast clients including Canada’s two largest private television networks, CTV and Global. These were the on-air promos for “Coming up Next”, or “Thursday at 9pm”… you get the drift.
5, 10 and 15 second attention grabbers meant to keep you connected to the network, or anticipating future viewing pleasure. (Forgive me for having participated in promoting prevarication.)
On-air promos/interstitials are the primary way networks reinforce their branding.
Our company was paid well to produce high quality brand promotion for broadcasters. (As an aside, I will always remember when the 1st Gulf War started, as I’d just finished creating 36 CTVNews promos for the Gulf Crisis when Imbi went into labour with Kaili. The day after Kaili’s birth, I was back changing them all to Gulf War.)
At one level, Twitter is a broadcast medium. Depending on the ratio of following to followers, it mimics the one-to-many communication of a TV network — primarily seen in the every-moment-tweeted Kardashian/Beiber/Kutcher inane celebrity universe.
LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME — their tweets demand. They aren’t interested in a 140 character-at-a-time conversation — they simply want followers — ones who will buy what they’re selling.
I don’t tend to follow these Twitterati. They add next to nothing to my social media engagement. Their tweets simply reflect the dominant pathology of celebrity — narcissism.
Twitter to me is most engaging as way to discover new ideas and arguments — as well as new production software and technology. My particular bent.
I have no problem with writers who point to their own writing — as long as that’s not all that they point to.
What I find particularly odd in the Twitterverse, are Christians who view Twitter like CTV viewed on-air promos — as a place to simply promote their wonderful brand.
We are told to “stay tuned for a big announcement.” Or ReTweet to win prizes — their books or tickets to their speaking events. They highlight every great thing someone else has tweeted about them. They let us know exactly where they’ve shared their great wisdom — to the applause of the gathered multitudes.
But, sorry, they really don’t have time to engage with anyone who hits reply to one of their tweets. (Followers really need to learn their place.) They’re on to bigger and better things that they’ll tweet about momentarily.
In my never humble opinion, when the primary focus of one’s Tweet output is you and what you are doing, then Twitter has simply become interstitialed narcissism.
[The image above is from the rebranding we did for Global when they went from KidsTV to KTV in the previous millennium. Scene by Scene® is a registered trademark of Medri Kinnon Productions Limited.)