Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Twitter Versus Listserv Smackdown: Listserv Wins!

I feel I’ve been living and breathing SSRN for weeks now, working to get our school’s RPS up and running. And today I needed to tweak a faculty paper one last time, hopefully. But I kept getting an error message when I tried to log in, and not just the message you get when you screw up your user name and password.

Here’s the capture of what I kept getting:

error message when SSRN log-in was down

So it looks like something serious is down on their end. This kept happening for about five minutes, so I e-mailed our faculty asking anyone with an account to try to log on and, yes, one person reported back right away that they were getting the same error message.

I thought that maybe it’s just a local problem - doubtful since that was the only web page giving us problems, but who knows. So, to see if anyone else around the country was having similar problems, I thought SURELY with all the amazing web 2.0 and social media tools at my disposal, I could instantly tap into my pool of colleagues around the country. So I go on Twitter:

Tweeting against the breeze
And post those three messages (which you have to read from bottom to top). Nothing. I am, of course, simultaneously e-mailing my contact at SSRN and asking the two professors here to make screen captures of their error messages. But I also post a message on the ALL-SIS listserv and within minutes I have two messages from people saying they aren’t having any problems like I am. Then when I try to log in again, no error message. A later follow-up from my SSRN contact:
e-mail from SSRN

confirms that it was a problem on their end, though it looks like it was just a brief glitch and I happened to be one of the few people to run into it.

The point is: as revolutionary as many people say Twitter is, and as useful as it can be in some situations, in this case a listserv, a 20+ year old technology, kicked its ass. Eventually all I got were exactly two responses from Twitter, both from @ssrn, and both of which were pretty useless. The first one:

Useless SSRN Tweet Number One
was useless because I WASN’T FOLLOWING SSRN and other users do NOT see @user responses you send to them if they are NOT already following you (and I’m following them now, which is why I was able to make that screen capture).

The second one was just a useless shout-out from them to, I guess, everyone who had used #ssrn in a tweet recently:

Useless SSRN Tweet Number One
Realistically, what this probably demonstrates is that there are, what, 1200+ law librarians on ALL-SIS, and probably not many more than 245 on Twitter, since I think I’ve found and am following everyone identifying them selves as a librarian at a law library, no mater where, what type, or what they do. If so, do we blame the librarians for being slow adapters? No, its been mainstream for, what, at least two to three years. Instead, I think we blame Twitter for not being as useful for our routine daily communication needs as some people hyped it up to be.

Now what Twitter is really useful for is stuff like this:

Mark Ingram is Eating the Best Steak in New Orleans

Mmmmm...steak. Wonder where he is? Dickie Brennans’s? The Ember’s? Crescent City Steak House?

Speaking of Ingram, now that it looks like Alabama will face LSU in the BCS Champsionship/Brawl for it All Round II, I have GOT to get a Bama jersey with his number on it.

(Oh, and if there was a real, worthwhile, final point here, I’ve long since forgotten what it was.)

No comments: