A jeet, on jeets

Many thinkpieces were written about underrepresented voices when Vine got axed.

OTOH, when overrepresented voices mold the medium, they get called man-.

Neither is intrinsic to medium. There’s no inherent reason why Viners may be more coloured, more female, more queer. Network effects.

So criticizing the medium or technique just looks arbitrary. Apparently nothing the overrepresented can do right except to stop existing.

It’s a punch up, into a brick ceiling that just pushes the puncher six feet deeper into the ground.

Measure twice, Tweet once

As an Industry Canada employee, it’s a pretty obvious move to follow Minister Tony Clement. So when he tweets that he’ll be meeting Stephen Toope, president of my alma mater UBC, I fire off a post linking to a column on innovation that Toope co-wrote, which receives the following response:

Now, ministers are free to agree with whatever they want, and anyone can of course send a letter to the minister with their opinions, but as a public servant in the minister’s department, I think it’s wise to exercise some discretion. I was hired because, presumably, Industry Canada thinks I have something to offer: the last thing I want is pass on crappy ideas to influential people with my reputation on the line. I felt that Toope’s column is fairly general, there wasn’t much time to relay the information, and I posted it explicitly as someone else’s opinion. What I’m not in the business of doing is tweeting willy-nilly about Potash, TMX, or about Internet usage-based billing.

I also believe in basic accountability: I can always Direct Message or e-mail the Minister directly to send that column, but that would truly be going through the back door. If I’m going to take a shortcut, at the very least, everyone else should know about it.

The question of how government ministers should use Twitter is a (kind of) hot issue right now. Tweets may be short, but it doesn’t hurt to put some thought into what they mean.