Readers! Do you remember the old days, when you couldn't pick up a newspaper without seeing some columnist or other ranting about how bloggers are socially-maladroit saddos with empty lives, who do nothing but spout tedious drivel on tedious blogs which are read by no one but their mums?
(Then after a bit, the papers decided that blogging was actually the future of journalism, and immediately set about pretending they'd thought of it first.)
Well, pine no more for the days when we bloggers were daring, sexy outcasts, condemned by the establishment and forced to survive on our wits, cake and nice comments left by alluring strangers. For the papers are at it again, only this time they've got it in for Twitter.
You can barely pick up a newspaper these days without seeing some columnist or other ranting about how people who use Twitter are socially-maladroit saddos with empty lives, who do nothing but spout tedious drivel in tedious messages of 140 characters or fewer, which are read by no one at all, or at least no one who's remotely interested.
First, I wondered if this kind of pattern has actually been going on since Caveman Urgh berated Caveman Blurgh and Caveman Wurgh for making tedious cave paintings about their tedious little animal-chasing lives that no one except their mums was ever going to look at or be remotely interested in.
Then I thought that instead I would make it all a bit more fun by inventing a game of Twitter Article Bingo.
Next time you see some Janet Street-Porter type spouting off about Twitter in the national press, you can amuse yourself by seeing how many points you can score from this list:
Twitter Article Bingo
1. Article mentions the following individuals:
Stephen Fry (1 point) [add 1 if it mentions S. Fry getting stuck in lift]
Jonathan Ross (1 point)
Barack Obama (1 point)
Britney Spears (2 points)
Lily Allen (1 point)
2. Article contains the phrase '140 characters or less' in a manner that suggests that any message of this brevity must be devoid of merit (2 points) [1 point off for good behaviour if it says '140 characters or fewer'.]
3. Article hilariously refers to Twitterers as 'twits' (5 points)
4. Article says that the point of Twitter is to answer the question 'What are you doing?' in a manner that suggests that no answer to this question can possibly be in any way interesting or enlightening (2 points)
5. Article quotes an eminent psychologist making unfavourable pronouncements about the mental state of anyone who uses Twitter (5 points) [add an extra 5 points if it's obvious the psychologist in question has never been near Twitter and has no real idea what it is.]
6. Article suggests that the only reason people join Twitter is to 'follow' celebrities (3 points)
7. Article claims that no one on Twitter has anything interesting to say, not even Stephen Fry (2 points)
8. Article makes one or more attempts to coin hilarious new word by replacing the first letter of any existing word with 'tw' (one point per rubbish neologism)
9. Article concludes that Twitter is incontrovertible proof that entire world is going to dogs (5 points)
10. Writer of article appears unable to recognise that if Twitter really was that dull, they wouldn't be writing yet another big article about it (5 points)
NEXT WEEK: Janet Street-Porter hails Twitter as the future of journalism.
UPDATE: Good work, Hadley Freeman!