I’m about to write my best defence of Twitter. Why? Because Terry Prone attacked Twitter in the Irish Examiner newspaper on Monday.
It would be easier to ignore Terry Prone’s point of view - she was filling her column. She has a strong view on Twitter. She writes well - with energy and attack. But none of the Irish people on Twitter have bothered to respond to her. I think she is considered a "has-been" by Irish users of Twitter. Her view is being ignored…
She hung her newspaper column on a Twitter-Quitter radio guy - Ray Foley. [This is his Twitter account @rayfoleyshow.] Ray wrote a blogpost on www.joe.ie about why he’d stopped tweeting. Terry Prone used that blogpost as her jumping-off ground. It’s an example of journalists feeding off each other.
Who is Ray Foley on Twitter?
[11,116 followers, follows 7, sent 5,221 tweets, included on 148 Twitter lists]
How was he using Twitter? What’s been his style & purpose? How well does he know Twitter? How much attention does his view deserve?
Terry Prone is a seasoned professional media manager - a PR guru in Ireland. She’s been at the top of the PR game for a long time. She has an established reputation. You could say she’s a heavy hitter. I’ve met her once - in a shop in Listowel during Listowel Writers’ Week in June 2010. That was a few seconds during which I may have wished her well. So I write this without any detailed knowledge of her practice.
There is a custom & practice in Ireland
- a trait - a skill - that much exercised: the art of cutting others down to size. Terry Prone tried to cut Jack Dorsey, Twitter founder, down to size. She tried to do it by being smart - playing on the prejudices of others. She attacked Twitter without understanding much about Twitter. But she wrote well. She used her writing skills to show off her cleverness.
However, she damaged her reputation. She revealed to others that she doesn’t know much about Twitter. As a media professional she came across as someone who failed to understand her subject. She made herself look less than intelligent or skilled.
Terry Prone’s attack on Twitter showed so little awareness of how Twitter works that it would be risky for anyone to place their business or cause in her PR hands.
To me it looks as if Terry Prone bats with one hand behind her back. She is "blind" to the value of Twitter - and she’s rushed to judgement before gaining experience. She looks superficial. And that’s how people look just before they’re pushed aside by the next generation.
It’s a shame.