Why I deleted my GapingVoid account

by Mathew on April 10, 2008 · 16 comments

So Hugh Macleod has made a splash in the blogosphere — and the Twitter-sphere, I suppose — by deleting his Twitter account. Hugh is the cartoonist/wine merchant (how many times do you see those words together?) who pens the Gaping Void cartoons, and is reportedly also working on a book. Why did he delete his Twitter account? He says it was too easy, and that it got in the way of doing other important things.

Hugh is entitled to his opinion, obviously. And there’s no question that Twitter can be awfully distracting, like a conversation at a party that is just out of earshot, where you can overhear bits and pieces of what’s going on. Hard to concentrate. But why did he have to make such a big deal out of it? I’m with Rex Hammock; you don’t have to cancel your account — just don’t go there as much. I haven’t deleted my Gaping Void bookmark, I just don’t go there quite as often. And sometimes Twitter posts produce ideas, as my friend Tony Hung notes.

Sure, take some time off and do other things — think deeply and blog about it, as Ted Rheingold suggests. There’s no question that there are flaws with Twitter, and Misha from Three Minds does a pretty good job of enumerating a few (hat tip to Changing Way). But why does it have to be all or nothing? Some things deserve a book, some things deserve a magazine article, some things deserve a blog post, and some are perfectly designed for a Twitter message. There’s room for all of them.

Update:

In other news, Ethan Kaplan of blackrimglasses would like everyone to know that he is *not* deleting his Twitter account.

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