Roger L. Simon

Top Twitter Target: It's not Instapundit - it's Drudge!

Well, it’s not really Drudge either. Neither that other guy in the hat, nor Glenn Reynolds, have that much to fear from Twitter. But more of that anon. Let me begin by saying….

At first, I rolled my eyes at Twitter. It was just too much noise – yet another flow of information no known person could follow, this one moving at warp speed to the nth power, and another conspiracy to keep me from doing any serious work (books, screenplays) from which I might net some income. [You sentimentalist, you.-ed. Besides, you did write a book last year.That was before I went on Twitter.]

Now, alas, I am a convert. This very blog post jumps to both Facebook and Twitter automatically via something called Twitterfeed. So I read with interest (via Instapundit, natch) William Beutler’s enlightening post on Twitter this morning – “Everyone an Instapundit: How the Left Underestimates Twitter.” Beutler certainly has a point, although, as readers know, I am weary of the endless left-right dichotomy, treating politics like sports, Lakers-Celtics or, more precisely, Lakers-Cavs and so forth. [But didn’t you join #TCOT, Top Conservatives on Twitter?-ed. I never said I was consistent.]

Anyway, here’s my buried lede: Twitter may be the greatest organizing and marketing (very close cousins) tool to yet come down the Internet pike. Don’t look for depth on Twitter. Look for instantaneous info that can or should lead to action – demonstrate, buy, attend, whatever. Along with Michael Patrick Leahy, PJTV has jumped aboard this flow for our April 15 Tea Party coverage. Twitter may be the method that finally lets loose the still untapped resources of widespread citizen journalism. We’ll see what happens that day.

Meanwhile, Instapundit is one, or maybe five, degrees more refined than Twitter. It goes through one man’s intelligence. As long as that man has our respect – and at the moment he does – his site is valuable as an editorial hand. We know where Glenn is coming from and trust him – or not. Drudge, although at the moment vastly larger, strikes me as somewhat more vulnerable to the Twitter onslaught. Someone or ones are going to figure out how to filter the Twitter feed for important stories in an automated manner. Of course the hash marks (#TCOT, #PJTV, #HHRS, etc.) are already there, but something else.- something more refined that is above my pay grade, yet infinitely populist.

I will end with this: It is no accident that Twitter, an extremely non-elitist form, would appeal to the right more than the left. In these times, as those of us in Hollywood know above all, it is ironically the left that is mired in elitism.