Friday, March 14, 2008

Sarah Lacy on the Transformative Value of Twitter

Even though I haven't watched The Interview, I had a natural curiosity about what Sarah Lacy would say after her experience at SXSW. Here are portions of Sarah Lacy's post BusinessWeek article:

Twitter is as socially transformative as blogging. My experience aside (many Twitter users were not kind), this is breakthrough technology. Ever since I've started using the microblogging site, I've loved it. I've found it a mind-bogglingly efficient way to keep in touch with a large number of people....

Sure, Twitter has a downside: a unique ability to beam users' every unfiltered, nasty thought instantly over the Web, where it will live forever and prompt the mob to pile on. It's as close as you can get to reading someone's mind—and it isn't always pretty.

But don't blame Twitter. Social technologies are neither good nor evil, though they do make it easier for people to act on their base instincts. Sometimes short blogs, texts, and e-mails are negative and mean-spirited, and often they're kind, supportive, and compassionate. (I got far more of the latter than the former in Austin.) Think about how Twitter is used to spread breaking news, rally users around a worthwhile cause, or help you find the best party at a conference. Twitter was the breakout site of last year's SXSW. This year it proved why.

Regarding the interviews:

SXSW is still largely focused on the tech side. Attendees wanted Zuckerberg to talk code, not business strategy—API, not IPO. Like it or not, Web dreamers need business savvy, too. Hell, some of them need to become businessmen and entrepreneurs themselves, following in the footsteps of a long line of successful visionaries, from Marc Andreessen to Mark Zuckerberg.

But for now, it's a good idea for SXSW programmers to stick to their roots. There are enough business conferences elsewhere.

So will Lacy interview the keynote speaker at SXSW 2009? We know how John Proffitt feels:

You would have been better served to never mention the SxSW event again, and just let it rest. People forgive and forget. But you couldn't let it rest....The major criticism of your interview was that it was all about you, you, you. It was wall-to-wall Sarah Lacy and the subject of the interview never made an appearance. So your response to the negative SxSW reviews is to... write more about yourself?

Well, perhaps Sarah Lacy can interview Tom Parish. After all, they now have something in common.

[mrontemp business] | [mrontemp politics] | [mrontemp technology] | [mrontemp tags]

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