The Other McCain

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How Could @Alyssa_Milano Use Twitter to Challenge Media ‘Explanation Space’?

Posted on | September 21, 2011 | 4 Comments

In a long post about why mainstream reporters love Twitter but hate blogs, Craig Henry points out how blogging undermines MSM dominance in a way Twitter really can’t:

Blogs, especially the long-form blogging that Den Beste did or that Neo-neocon still does, has the potential to break the MSM’s monopoly on “explanation space.” . . .
It is one of those quirks of history. One new thing is revolutionary. The next new thing consolidated the position of the powers that be.

It’s an excellent point — you should read the entire post — but I think in some sense Henry both underestimates the continued significance of blogging and overestimates Twitter’s potential to replace blogging.

One of the beautiful things about Twitter is its utility for promoting links, and this promotional power is the same whether the truncated links are to a New York Times article or a blog post. A good post with a good headline, re-Tweeted by several people, can sometimes generate nearly as much traffic in the span of an hour as a link from most medium-sized blogs. And since most bloggers are on Twitter, this provides a medium through which information can be shared among bloggers rapidly.

So I see Twitter as a tool that can enhance the impact of blogging, if people use it with impact as their objective.

But a lot of people aren’t really thinking in any strategic way about how to use Twitter as a medium, any more so than they think strategically about blogging as a medium. And that’s why I mention Alyssa Milano. She’s got 1.7 million followers on Twitter and, unlike some celebrities, her Twitter feed isn’t just silly stuff. Alyssa is pretty much your standard-issue Hollywood liberal on most issues, but she Tweets links to all kinds of news articles of general interest. Plus, she’s a connoisseur of cute videos.

Will she re-Tweet this post? Probably not, but the point is that Alyssa Milano is aware of Twitter’s potential, and uses her Twitter account with some sense of how her large readership can be influenced through her messages. Maybe if I throw in a shout-out to Baby Milo?


4 Responses to “How Could @Alyssa_Milano Use Twitter to Challenge Media ‘Explanation Space’?”

  1. Adjoran
    September 22nd, 2011 @ 3:53 am

    Old media types hate blogs for historical as well as hysterical reasons.  The basic reason is the competition to The Narrative (which blogs often use their “explanation space” to advance).

    Remember how they used to laugh at blogs because the bloggers lacked the “layers of fact-checkers and editors” back in the day?  Since then, though, all the fact-checkers, most of the editors, and even the kids who fetched donuts have been laid off.  For instance, the NYT has no more fact-checkers and only one editor who only reads articles after a certain number of complaints, and then only to assert that nearly all of the factoids in the story which have not yet been disproved may not be disproved, and would have passed the fact-checkers if they in fact still had any.

  2. Bob Belvedere
    September 22nd, 2011 @ 12:33 pm

    Mrs. Milano can stay liberal as long as she doesn’t pull a Tony Bennett.  Good looks in a woman will always excuse a lot in my book.

  3. Zilla of the Resistance
    September 22nd, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

    Stacy, you forgot to add the gratuitous Tip Jar Rattle! Bloggers undermine the enemedia, if that isn’t a great reason why liberty minded people should Hit bloggers’ Tip Jars, I don’t know what is. 

  4. Rob Crawford
    September 22nd, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

    Twitter is the ultimate expression of the ego-motivated and thoughtless portion of the population. It’s pure twitch, no consideration.

    It should be abandoned by the intelligent and left as the refuge of teenage girls and their Democrat Congressmen stalkers.