There’s lots of talk about Twitter at the moment, so here’s my two cents worth penny’s worth one Expat Trading Token’s worth.
- I like it, I use it. If you don’t like it or don’t use it, fine. End of.
- “It sounds stupid” – OK, don’t use it. You’re probably right, and we’ll all thank you when this blows over for your incisive thoughts. Well done.
- “What use is it?” – None, some, or plenty. Take your pick.
- “Most people on Twitter are just saying nothing in a big cloud” – partially true, completely the point. Move along.
- If you have the word “marketing” in your bio, I will block you.
- I don’t often use the “@” reply thing, but I do use it sometimes. Some people’s twitterstreams are full of simple “@[insert name here] LOL!”, and they use it all the time. Fine by me.
Many people have tried to write dictionaries and rules of etiquette for Twitter, a lot of which have been bullshit attempts to codify something, and thereby claim it. “Oh yeah, I compiled the Twictionary” – piss off. Most people don’t use these words, and the etiquette thing is even worse. Some people think it’s rude not to follow everyone who follows you. As far as I’m concerned, I follow people I find interesting, whether I’ve met them or not. But I like to have been introduced, physically or otherwise.
It was very interesting to follow people’s reactions to the US Presidential Debates, live, as an auto-updating Twitter stream. It seemed that 75% of the people commenting were Democrats. There were also many bots – programs out there posting regularly, created purely to snark. My observation was that most of these were Republican.
Ignore those grumpy luddites in the broadsheets and elsewhere, who don’t understand it, can’t be bothered to learn how it works and are frightened at the prospect that people are entertaining themselves in a way that doesn’t involve accepted media forms.
My first post (not keen on using the term tweet) was in August 2007. My usage patterns have varied since then, as it has faded in and out of usefulness. I usually use the web interface, as I post from work. I also use Twitterfox, Motwit on my phone (which shows up as “web” in the stats below), and I will be trying TweetDeck soon. Here are a few interesting views, created by the myriad tools out there.
- Word cloud based on the bios of my followers
- Stats from my Twitter posts
- Many more interesting, useful and useless tools
This post’s title comes from the wonderful, uplifting and tender song by Middle Of The Road, posted in my playlist on the “musical Twitter”, Blip.fm. Let’s see what the chattering late-to-the-party journos make of that.