The most interesting paragraph in Linchpin

In a post earlier this week, I mentioned Seth Godin’s Linchpin as one of the things that inspired me to get back to blogging. The book, in short, is about putting your “art”–the great work you’re uniquely qualified to do–before “the resistance”–the fears and distractions that get in the way of your “art.” I was a little bit surprised–and empathized to a degree–when I read that for Godin, Twitter is part of “the resistance.”

“Don’t even get me started on Twitter. There are certainly people who are using effectively and productively. Some people (a few) are finding that it helps them do the work. But the rest? It’s perfect resistance, because it’s never done. There’s always another tweet to be read and responded to. Which, of course, keeps you from doing the work.”

Many people who know me know I’m not a huge Twitter fan, and the issue Godin identifies–its propensity to get in the way of work–is, I believe, one of its biggest drawbacks. But I also respect those who are Twitter proponents–many of whom are also Godin fans. With that in mind, here’s what I’d like to know: if you’re a fan of both Twitter and Seth Godin, what do you make of his comments? Keep in mind that Godin is conceding that Twitter makes sense for some, so don’t throw his whole argument out on a technicality. Rather, tell me what you’d say to Godin if you were speaking in favor of Twitter as a useful tool for “the rest of us.”

This entry was posted in books, godin, Social Media, Twitter and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The most interesting paragraph in Linchpin

  1. Chris Sanderson says:

    Anthony – First off I’m not a huge Twitter fan either, although I do believe it has a great place in an organization’s media mix. Additionally, I agree that Twitter offers “the perfect resistance,” or at least A perfect resistance. In other words, LOTS of things offer the “perfect” resistance if that’s required to be perfect is that an activity is “never done.” So what I’d say to Mr. Godin is, “Why pick on poor little Twitter?” Gardening, basketball, iTunes, reading this (or his) blog, cleaning the house, studying the competition, etc ad infinitum all fall into the ubiquitous “never done” category. Are they the perfect resistance as well?

  2. Andy Welfle says:

    Ahh, Twitter. It’s kinda raw, it’s kind of messy, and unless you are really organized and have your s*** together and organize your feeds into lists, you have to sort through a lot of garbage to get to the interesting stuff.

    But I think that Twitter has opened up the world for me. At least in the way I use it, I can stay on top of breaking news, often before major news networks do, I can read specialty news (pencils, just for example), peer directly into the mind of my favorite bloggers, writers, and actors, and quickly share ideas (as long as they’re not too detailed). I’ve made personal connections through Twitter, locally and nationally, and through @FWDC, we’ve attracted students and dancers alike.

    And I once won a $5 Starbucks giftcard by submitting a coffee-related haiku, so don’t say Twitter never gave me nuthin’. (-:

  3. One of the most useful uses for Twitter for me at NeighborLink is the ability to tune into live streams from specific conferences and around certain topics that relate to NeighborLink. This is powerful for me as I attempt to continue the spread of NeighborLinks into other communities and around the county. It allows me to tap right into the audience that will be most likely to be involved in getting a new NL up and running.

    For the other 9-% of the time…resistance factor is high. So, I understand his position well.

  4. reanrc says:

    I can see where he’s coming from with Twitter as a constant distraction. Like Andy and Andrew point out, with discipline and by understanding how to harvest Twitter for useful information, it is a great resource – perhaps moreso for me, as an information professional whose job it is to stay on top of buzz, news, and useful resources. Twitter is a good thing for librarians. – Lettie Haver

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