Note: I originally posted this article on a personal blog I ran when I was in my late teens and early twenties. I discovered in May 2020 that the Internet Archive had preserved the contents of that blog in its entirety, including some of the media. That blog was an important part of my personal history, so I reposted all of that content on this website for archival purposes. While my politics, opinions, and outlook on the world have changed radically since I wrote those posts between 2009 and 2011, it’s good to know that I was as much of an idiot then as I am now.


Buzzwords. This is what Wikipedia has to say about them:

A buzzword (also fashion word and vogue word) is a vague idiom, usually a neologism, that is common to managerial, technical, administrative, and political work environments. Although meant to impress the listener with the speaker’s pretense to knowledge, buzzwords render sentences opaque, difficult to understand and question, because the buzzword does not mean what it denominates, yet does mean other things it ought not mean.

Twitter has a crisp, concise sentence on their homepage that describes exactly what their service is all about. Someone must have worked hard coming up with that description. Here it is:

Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?

I’m going to take that description and have some fun with it.

There seems to be no mention of Web 2.0 there, so I’ll put that in. I’ll also toss in “real time”, because I can. The sentence now reads:

Twitter is a Web 2.0-based real time service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?

What about “empower”? I think I can squeeze that in somewhere. Since “friends, family, and co–workers” sounds too normal, I’m going to replace it with “end users”.

Twitter is a Web 2.0-based real time service that empowers end users to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?

“What are you doing?” is too easy to understand. It has to go. These days, “core competency” seems to be the hot new term in town, especially among entrepreneurs. I’ll re-phrase the blurb so I can throw that in, too.

Twitter is a Web 2.0-based real time service. Twitter’s core competency is empowering end-users to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What activity is the said end-user engaged in?

Something about “rich media” would be nice. “quick, frequent” can be replaced by “holistic, crowsourced” and “question” becomes “query”.

Twitter is a Web 2.0-based real time rich media service. Twitter’s core competency is empowering end-users to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of holistic, crowdsourced answers to one simple query: What activity is the said end-user engaged in?

Change “stay connected” to something better, like “allowing them to initiate a synergizing convergence of thought and action”.

Twitter is a Web 2.0-based realtime rich media service. Twitter’s core competencies are empowering end-users to communicate and allowing them to initiate a synergizing convergence of thought and action through the exchange of holistic, crowdsourced answers to one simple query: What activity is the said end-user engaged in?

And that, folks, is what grinds my gears.