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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (CAP) - In a discovery that has reverberated throughout the "Twitterverse," researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have turned up a Twitter user who is apparently not a narcissistic asshole.
"It was widely assumed that Twitter was being used exclusively by self-centered navel-gazers with an unrepentant desire to share their every thought and action with whoever would listen," said MIT Professor Ron Sharkowski, who led a six-week study of the "micro-blogging" service that allows members to communicate in 140-character tweets. "But in at least one instance that seems not to be the case."
The instance in question is that of Mr. Karl Montesquieu (a.k.a. @montyQ22) of Boscobel, Wisc., who has been a Twitter member since early 2008 and tweets almost exclusively useful tidbits of information, like the weather in the greater Madison area. According to Prof. Sharkowski, Montesquieu has never used his tweets to say what he was doing at that moment, which TV shows he thinks suck or anything about "SXSW."
"That's a music festival," said Sharkowski. "I looked it up."
Montesquieu, reached at Maggie Magoon's, the candy and ice cream shop he manages in Boscobel, says he wasn't trying to stand out from the Twitter crowd.
"I just thought maybe I could be helpful," he said. "I figure there's not much point in sending out every personal thought or opinion, no matter how mundane or uninformed," he added, espousing a view apparently not shared by Twitter's 4-5 million other users.
"This guy's giving the rest of us a bad name," e-mailed @LaLaLady44, one popular "Tweep" prone to tweeting about which pair of underwear she's wearing, how much liquor she's drunk or plans to drink and whether or not her nipples are feeling sensitive. "What he's doing is not what Twitter is supposed to be about. BTW, I'm wearing my pink thong today, and it's riding up my butt."
In fact, some longtime Tweeps point to Montesquieu as evidence that the service is no longer the cutting-edge social media tool it was a few months ago.
"I'm sorry to say it, but Twitter has definitely jumped the shark," said popular user Chris Manfredo, a.k.a. @ChrisManf, a marketing executive with 2,076 followers. "It's so like SXSW in that way."
Manfredo says he's looking forward to what many say will be the next big social media sensation, Utter, launching later this year. That service will require members to communicate only in one-word "Utes," like "Bored" or "Horny."
"Pumped," explained Manfredo.
Another popular Twitter user, @Bargains4U, declined to comment, instead responding with several hundred links back to his/her website.
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