Chuck Olsen dissects the timeline of him making a joke that was then taken seriously by people (including me.) I saw Andrew Baron’s original post, and made a post that basically said “WTF?” About an hour later I reread Drew’s post and noticed that it originated from a Twitter, at which point I posted an update that said “Uh Oh.” An hour or two after that, Scoble left me a comment saying it was bogus at which I posted an update that said “Oh Shit.” I apologized to Robert for my part in the whole thing, both on the original post and via email. The low point of the whole deal is two part: I had my name mentioned in Valleywag and I was tricked into opening Valleywag in my web browser. Now I can no longer stick with my claim that I’ve never once looked at it. Like Olsen says, if it were not for Valleywag, the whole thing would have been up and over in a few hours but now it got fanned into something more. Boy, I’ll be glad when my Technorati vanity search stops turning up the quote “Andrew Baron and Dave Slusher are full of shit…”
As I read Chuck’s explanatory post, his basic point is “People should have known from the context it was a joke.” I’m not a Twitter user, and in fact that message from Chuck is the very first Twitter I’ve ever looked at. As a novice to the whole thing, it was news to me that Twitters even have a context. I sort of thought the whole point was the opposite.
Chuck also runs through the reasons why people should have known it was absurd that John Furrier would tell him such information. I know John well enough to say hi and shake his hand whenever I see him, and I know Chuck from his work but not personally. That he was the person who had the info first seemed odd to me, but not impossible. How do I know that Chuck isn’t John’s best friend from college or something? If your joke in an ephemeral medium requires lots of context and personal knowledge to even understand that it is a joke, you might be in trouble. I do like Eric Rice’s comment (the first one on that post) that this whole kerfuffle is a dry run for someone who really does have malicious intent injecting some crap into the blogsphere via Twitter. Time to think this through while the stakes are pretty low.
As an aside, having now finally loaded the Twitter website and gotten a glimpse of what it’s all about, I am even more perplexed that people care so much about it. Personally, there is no one on this planet that I’m that interested about the minutiae of their moment to moment life that is not already in my house. All I could think about as I was looking at the Twitters or Tweets or whatever they are was this thought: “They abandoned Odeo because of this piece of dreck? Holy christ, that is one sad statement.” The probability that I’d sign up and use it has dropped from low to zero.