Twitter got hacked and went down. A year ago, who would have cared? Who would have noticed? Not me. But I did notice yesterday. It changed my world. I had an extra 15 minutes in my day, which I put to good use.
But something else happened yesterday to make me think of twitter. I was followed by Rex7.
Hi, Scott Greenfield.
Rex7 (Rex7) is now following your tweets on Twitter.
A little information about Rex7:
For those of you who don’t know, Rex7 is a 2009 law school graduate named Rex Gradeless who has accumulated the largest number of followers of anyone in the legal arena, assuming ones take a broad view of who is in the legal arena. Like getting into the Guiness Book of World Records for accomplishing a feat that few others have chosen to try, Rex7 has staked his claim on twitter.
But his success at accumulating followers is demonstrable evidence of it’s relative utility. Rex needs a job. Nothing wrong with that, particularly given the current situation for law school graduates. But he has almost 64,000 followers on twitter. Still, he’s jobless, per his twitter bio. Contrary to popular belief, no one gets paid for the number of followers they have on twitter.
Rex isn’t the only young man hoping that twitter will aid in his success. There are others, Adrian Dayton for one, who believe that their future can be found on twitter. Adrian is a twitter consultant, available to teach lawyers and firms how to achieve financial success through twitting. He believes that it’s true, and that he can help.
To Rex and Adrian, twitter is their vehicle to recognition. When twitter went down, so too did their vehicle.
But if Rex can’t manage to find a job with his almost 68,000 followers, then one has to wonder whether those who promote twitter as a vehicle of success are just blowing smoke.
I’ve come to like twitter for certain purposes. But I remain doubtful that it will serve the purpose of enhancing my practice. Others will explain to me using the vagaries preferred by marketing folks about how it builds relationships and networks and communities, will find you love and help you to lose those excess pounds. I haven’t seen it. I had more followers on twitter than I should, but many of them are part of the coterie of twitterers who are selling to lawyers or just following others in the hope of a return follow. They want to be like Rex7. They are keeping score.
This morning, Rex7 stopped following me. Perhaps it was because I didn’t follow him back. Perhaps it was because my twits are boring. Perhaps it was because I don’t have a job for him.
I wish Rex, who was an occasional commenter here, the best of luck in finding a fine job as a lawyer. It will likely interfere with his ability to accumulate followers on twitter, but it will provide him with a paycheck, a sense of real accomplishment and a taste of what the profession is all about. What it is not about is twitting, accumulating followers or finding your purpose in life crushed when twitter crashes. That would make you the saddest person in the twittersphere.