This Place Is Dead Anyways

by Jin, 05-22-09 // 7 comments
This place is dead anyways

Five Star restaurant/bar was my favorite hang out place in my single years. I have many fond memories of that place. In fact, I met my wife there. I loved the place because during my wacky freelance days, its late hours suited me perfectly. I’d head to Five Star for a drink or two around midnight, then begin my all-nighter when I got home at 2am. There was a certain quality about the place that I loved. The staff was friendly and genuine, and the place wasn’t crowded. Everytime I went, I was able to carry on interesting conversations with the regular patrons.

Soon the word got out that Five Star was the hip place to be. It got more and more crowded. The staff become too swamped to talk to everyone. What used to be sincere and intimate chatters turned into short and cordial greetings. It also become increasingly hard to find a seat or hear what my friends were saying over the noises. Five Star soon became a full blown packed night club.

I felt like I’d lost a special place. I found myself going at slow hours, so I could regain some peace and quiet. Not surprisingly, the old regulars did the same.

Then a new night club opened down the street, all the club hoppers went there instead. Because, it was the hip place to be. Five Star became my Five Star again thanks to their exodus. I was able to sit down and hear people again. I remember one night a guy came in and said, “This place is dead…” then promptly left. I wonder if this place was ever alive to him to begin with.

These days I don’t go out much anymore. In between working on my blog and side projects late at night, I socialize with people on Twitter. Yesterday I had an interesting conversation with @mktgdouchebag and @NathanBowers, see below:

twitter convo

I believe people’s online behaviors mimic their real life behaviors. Twitter has gotten noisier than when I first joined. One good thing about Twitter is that I can choose who I follow or converse with. But as its popularity grew, I have a hard time telling who’s truly interested in having a two way conversation versus those who want to shove a URL down my throat. At least not easily right away. There is much noise.

Twitter, like many other social media sites, is just a tool. It is what you make of it. Those who don’t see the true value of it will quickly move onto the next bigger things, or quit all together. Maybe I am waiting for the day when those Twitter becomes quieter, so I can sit down and have a drink with my friends.


also feel free to contact me on twitter or via email
Nathan Bowers 05-22-09

I believe Twitter can survive the influx of noobs and self promoters. This is because:

1) You must opt in to follow noisy or spammy people.

2) Pruning will save it: There is little emotional baggage to unfollowing (Compare to Facebook where “unfriending” is a big deal.)

3) Even if a great alternative to Twitter existed, it would be hard to leave because Twitter is where you’ve built your equity. You’ve invested in the relationships you’ve cultivated. During Twitter’s worst downtime, maybe a year ago, A-listers tried other services but they always came back because Twitter was where they already had critical mass.

Here’s what I think could kill Twitter:

1) Uncool people that you can’t ignore (like your parents) join Twitter and make it suck.

2) Culture shift: people you really like and follow start getting too self promotional, or they get borged by Guy Kawasaki and start autotweeting Alltop links. The best way to fix this is to gently call people on it publicly. I’ve saved more than one friend by doing so.

3) Twitter changes some underlying “Twitterveral Constant” that makes the whole thing unravel. What they did with @replies is a start, but the easiest example to imagine is “what if they changed the limit to 300 characters?” The whole thing would unravel FAST.

Jin 05-22-09

@Nathan, all good points, I can’t really add anything to what you’ve already said. I just pray that my parents never find me on Twitter. It took me a while to “get” Twitter, and that’s after tons of follow/unfollow. One thing I did learn is that those of whom I thought would be interesting on Twitter turn out to be quite boring.

Nathan Bowers 05-22-09

Damn, I meant “TwitterverSal Constant”. Stupid fat fingers :-)

Dan Denney 05-22-09

Very interesting article. I love the “Swingers” reference.
I’m a late adopter to Twitter, but have seen the rapid expansion in the last few months. The spam is growing crazy, but the designer sub-culture is growing in a good way.
As the numbers expand, there are different types of users becoming apparent, even within the sub-culture. There are defined link-sharers, engagers and overall fanboys like myself!
The decision to choose who receive input from is the saving grace. It’s the equivalent of only talking with the regulars at the bar and identifying the new people that walk in looking for that bar that you love! I’m hoping that it’s the nightclub crowd that moves, but only so I get less spammer-follower emails and less timeouts.

Jin 05-23-09

@Dan, I’m glad you got the Swingers reference! It’s one of my top movies.

People use tools differently. That’s why I never liked those rules made about Twitter. Use it the way you want to. I feel even within the design sub culture, the noise is high too. It’s a shame whenever a designer follows me, I sometimes don’t follow them back because all they do is RTs. Then again, that’s just how *I* use twitter. I prefer to follow people who have original things to say. Thx for commenting.

David Airey 05-24-09

Hey Jin,

Glad you got your Five Star back in the end. Sad how the best places attract the worst crowd. Subjective? Sure, but isn’t everything?

I hope you’ve been keeping well lately, and thanks for your visits to my own little blog.

Jin 05-24-09

@David, thanks. I’m a big fan of your blog. I especially love it when you post travel photos. I wish I can go visit European countries some day. They just have so much history and characteristics. Unlike the cities in the States, are plagued with Box Mart and McDonald’s.