Twitter, making big meanings of trivia, and why it matters

My twitter feed this morning was full of an exchange between Robert Scoble and Loic Le Meur. It struck me as an interesting example of what happens in a world of – to quote Lisa Reichelt’s phrase – ambient intimacy. Here’s (the very slightly abridged version of) their exchange. Loic is talking about planning his LeWeb3 conference.

L: LeWeb3: you would not believe how some speakers consider themselves as star. It’s almost if I had to cut their feet nails upon arrival

L: ok now I have a speaker who asks through his assistant to cover his cost for…. USD45 000 WTF? Some people really are full of themselves.

R: @loiclemeur: that’s freaking ridiculous for a speaker to ask. That person really doesn’t want to go.

R: @loiclemeur: I only know a few speakers in the industry who can command more than $5 000 per speech.

L: @Scobleizer if I told you who that is you would be amazed. And I guarantee he wants to go 🙂

R: @loiclemeur: if I don’t want to go to your conference I’ll ask for a ridiculous amount like that. Just ignore and go to next speaker.

L: @Scobleizer of course we do not pay speakers at LeWeb3 !!! Never

R: @loiclemeur: I told Maryam and she said “what?” She’s a professional event coordinator. We’ve never paid that much.

R: @loiclemeur: there are some speakers who command those kinds of fees but LeWeb isn’t one who needs to pay that.

L: @Scobleizer will tell you in private. Can’t disclose. But hey I got one wifi offer for Eur 400 000 and a speaker for USD 45 000 what a J

L: ahah seems I launched an entire Twitter conversation on these astronomical fees !

So this almost accidental conversation mushrooms… and Loic is placed in the position of looking a bit of a tease – he’s going to whisper to Scoble who the mystery egomaniac is but not tell us. That’s delightfully human of him even if it doesn’t quite paint him as the soul of discretion. (Puts me slightly in mind of this great, possibly apocryphal, Churchill story.)

I realise I witter stuff in Twitter that I would probably not put in my blog, but it’s all stuff that tells you a bit more about who I am. I write these fragmentary bits of trivia but the reader gets to interpret and contextualise. Of course the story readers make up (like the one I’ve made up in my head about Loic) may not be “true”. And it sure as heck isn’t going to be under the control of the writer. But what you lose in control, you may well gain in engagement because the story I’ve made up is going to excite me enough to blog about it. See?

We’ve come a long way from dinosaur speak.

2 thoughts on “Twitter, making big meanings of trivia, and why it matters

  1. Jon Husband

    Maybe we’re crawling neanderthals now ?

    I think it is indeed teasing to mention that in a public forum like Twitter. Loic could have used email or Skype or whatever with the Scobleizer .. that’s an example where I think a tad more transparency wouldn’t hurt anyone watching the conversation, and just make the asker-for-45K be sure to be on the top of her or his game, especially when pitching for a conference like LeWeb 3.

    Reply

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