Too Busy to Tweet: Why Comic-Con Didn’t Summon The Fail Whale
When I read Variety’s article entitled “Twitter Fizzles at Comic-Con” this morning my first reaction was not an argument, but rather a slap to the forehead.
While the piece presents research indicating that perhaps Twitter isn’t as busy as perceived, it misses the real point of why Tweets didn’t necessarily destroy the universe during the media announcement Armageddon that is Comic-Con:
Everybody from fans to media pros were straight-up too busy and fearful for battery life to post something they figured would get lost in the shuffle anyway.
Now, don’t get me wrong, what I’m saying is a huge (one might say, whale-sized) generalization – but that doesn’t make it any less valid than the conclusions the marketing mad scientists are dishing out.
While covering the convention most media folks were busy. Like really busy – too busy to keep up with their Twitter feeds busy. Standing in 1-3 hour lines for a panel might sound like plenty of time to update social networking statuses, but trust me — it wasn’t. Phone calls, E-mails and constant texts interrupted the most basic activities (eating, using the facilities, sleeping). Deadlines for panel reports and interview write-ups did not yield enough Tweet time for even the most savvy smart phone addicts to meet their usual sedentary office-based quotas.
Not only that, Comic-Con had very few available locations to recharge the many tools of the coverage trade, meaning the brightness settings on my devices were so low, I didn’t really feel like squinting at my TweetDeck app to read or repost news that had surely already started making the rounds.
By the time actual news had been reported from the proper outlets, most of my contemporaries used their precious Tweet time to vent about their living conditions. A lot of the ladies didn’t dig their shoes and a lot of dudes didn’t dig eating their eighth pretzel dog (myself included) – the world needed to know, readers could always catch the important stuff in their RSS feeds.