With Twitter on the verge of an IPO, and with me in the middle of creating an introductory presentation about social media, the benefits of the micro-blogging site have been on my mind (that, and how I can scrounge up a couple thousand dollars to buy some initial shares).
I’ve always likened Twitter to a cocktail party – yes, I am aware this is neither a new nor unique analogy – in which you can make the experience what you choose it to be. You can sit in your corner of the room, quiet and anonymous with your tweets blocked, and just observe the conversations that take place. Or you can drift from discussion to discussion, inserting your two cents here and there, learning or bridge burning along the way.
If you’re like me, you’re prone to puffing out your chest from the safety of a keyboard, only to swiftly recoil at the first salvo from someone infinitely smarter and better prepared in their counter-argument (or maybe it’s just me).
Which brings me to one of the things I love about Twitter. Have you seen a character on TV or in a movie that is just cool and smart and knows exactly what to say at just the right time? The deft and suave master of conversational manipulation. The perfect amalgamation of Danny Ocean and James Bond. That’s how I feel when I stumble upon a Twitter conversation in which wit, snark, and plain ‘ol verbal bad-assery triumph over stupidity, ignorance, and false bravado.
So as I engaged in my love/hate relationship with the site Public Shaming – love how entertaining the site is, but I hate how it reminds me that racism and ignorance are still very much prevalent in our country – I came across this gem of a conversation. Public Shaming first posted the story of Pax Dickinson, a – to use their words – ” full-time sexist, misogynistic, libertarian jerk, ” who is also CTO at Business Insider. The post includes a clever reply by Anil Dash, a New York City entrepreneur, writer, and my new Internet hero.
My curiosity drove me to Anil’s Twitter page (@anildash) to see if there was additional dialogue. Was there ever! What followed was an epic proverbial body slamming of the tool that is Pax Dickinson, and it was glorious. You can read the entire thread here. You can also read Anil Dash’s personal account of the whole issue on his blog.
Finally, as a delicious, smile-inducing coup de grâce, Pax Dickinson is no longer employed by Business Insider. If you don’t think Twitter is important, think again.