December 03, 2008

Should I Twitter?

As an active blogger, I'm not averse to new technological and social networking tools. But any tool is only useful if it's useful. I'm still trying to figure out how Twitter is useful.

I've spoken to friends about Twitter, and have followed discussions about Twitter on some group bulletin boards. Many people say that they're addicted to Twitter, and that they use it every day. They say that Twitter is a quick way to update people on what they're doing. But how important is it to know what people are doing all day? Aren't people's daily routines fairly hum-drum? If following their daily details was so important, I would already be on the phone or emailing with them numerous times during the day. Do I need to know via Twitter that Jay is "in a boring meeting" or that Julie is "making meatloaf"? At the expense of doing my work?

Other people say that they use Twitter to "promote their blogs." I'm not sure exactly how that works, but constant pimping of one's blog is extremely off-putting, and would be no less so over Twitter.

On the other hand, I'm no Luddite. So somebody, please convince me why I should Twitter. If you can do so in a 140-character Twitter message, even better.

(Photo from



At 6:45 PM, Blogger Aileen said...

Based on what I know of you, I don't think it's a medium you would enjoy. In fact, I think it would annoy you.

An argument to do it? So you don't become like my grandmother who once said "I refuse to leave messages on those damn recording machines!" (of course, she's been known to say that while the voice mail was actually recording...)

At 7:05 PM, Blogger Barbara said...

My husband has been known to send a travel-log to friends and relatives via constant Twitter messages. If I were the recipient of a series of such messages, I would find them annoying, but he seems drawn to whatever the IN technology is at the time and uses every excuse to constantly play with his iPhone. I suppose your decision to play this game really depends on your audience.

At 8:43 PM, Blogger media concepts said...

Ok, so far I'm not convinced, not that you tried.

At 5:42 AM, Blogger RiverPoet said...

I tried it, but it is mostly another annoying thing that sucks up free time. Yes, you can promote your blog. Most people convert a link to their latest post using TinyURL so they use fewer precious characters and then they put that in the "tweet".

During the election, people did lots of "retweets" of tidbits or videos they found so that things made the round-the-world trip lightning fast - much faster than through email, because many people keep a TweetDeck up on their desktop, which keeps things updated in real time (versus most email programs that require you to check mail).

In the end, though, I got tired of reading what my friends were doing. It annoyed me, and I love my friends!

Peace - D

At 10:55 AM, Blogger media concepts said...

I also see that social networking sites have Twitter-like features in which your networks of friends can send brief updates during the day. Unfortunately, these do not appear to me thus far to be any more valuable or any less time-consuming than Twitter messages, and the two appear to be largely redundant.

I should mention that Twitter messages from people in Mumbai during the recent attacks proved to be very valuable and informative to the world, but, let's face it, most Twitter messages are not updates from a disaster scene.

At 11:39 AM, Blogger Ruth Seeley said...

I'm learning a lot from being on Twitter. Perhaps it's just the people I'm following, but I'm getting information I want delivered to me on a platter rather than having to dig for it.

Much of that info comes from folks I'm following who are doing precisely what you object to, 'pimping' their blog posts. Try following some journalists and some marketers and think of it as a quick way to share the 'value add' we all want to provide.

At 11:51 AM, Blogger media concepts said...

Ruth, thanks for your comment. I follow plenty of blogs, including those of journalists, but I do this simply by bookmarking their blog, or typing in the URL name of the blog, or typing in the name in my Google search box, or having them in my blogroll on this blog and just clicking the link. The process only takes about 15 seconds or less, so I don't see why I need to receive a clutter of Twitter messages to track back to their blogs. I guess it's just personal preference.


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