New tools in general, and Twitter in particular, greatly challenge the binary dichotomy of attention as something that is either given or taken away, distracted. Instead, these tools allow us to direct attention to destinations where it can be sustained with more concentration and immersion.
They offer a wayfinding system that is, on the whole, the polar opposite of traditional media’s: While “old media” fought against the scarcity of information, new media are fighting the overabundance of information….
[Twitter allows] people to discover the most relevant, interesting, and impactful information, in any medium, and then relate it to other information in a networked ecosystem of meaning that helps us better understand the world and each other….
If information discovery plays such a central role in how we make sense of the world in this new media landscape, then it is a form of creative labor in and of itself. And yet our current normative models for crediting this kind of labor are completely inadequate, if they exist at all…. Finding a way to acknowledge content curation and information discovery (or, better, the new term we invent for these fluffy placeholders) as a form of creative labor, and to codify this acknowledgement, is the next frontier in how we think about “intellectual property” in the information age….
Ultimately, I see Twitter neither as a medium of broadcast, the way text is, nor as one of conversation, the way speech is, but rather as a medium of conversational direction and a discovery platform for the text and conversations that matter.
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