My First, Last and Only Twitter Rant

I have a Twitter account. I’m not saying you should, but a lot of people do. Common response most people have to Twitter: “What is it?” I try and dumb it down for people, tell them it’s like Facebook stati or live blogging with 140 characters per post. There’s really no other way to explain it. If Twitter needed a slogan, I would go with “It is what it is.”

twitter_logoI would say there’s a fair amount of Twitter backlash out there. The consensus from laypeople is the network is too limited. They want another Facebook, another MySpace. But that’s not the point. Twitter isn’t for everyone. In fact, I’ve used this logic as an argument-ender: Twitter is for corporations, causes and anything that require promotion. You got a blog? Use Twitter! Get the word out. You work for a newspaper? Report from the scene of your story! You work for a PR firm and you’re trying to get a last-minute notice on a scheduling change? Drop a tweet!

(Yes, “tweet” is the verb Twitter uses in place of “post.” You want to say you posted something, you “tweeted.” You didn’t create a post, you created a “tweet.” I put it next to “birdie” in the world of golf for Worst Term Ever Invented. It is what it is.)

picture-2How big is Twitter? It’s showing up in pop culture. (Really, Ms. Aniston?) The sports world is getting a taste thanks to the Big Shaqtus. I know of one wise sage from my alma mater who required her Public Relations Campaigns class to start tweeting. (She tells me they did so “begrudgingly.) It’s just like early incarnations of Facebook or MySpace — no one is quite sure of all the ways it can be used. However, it’s nothing like Facebook or MySpace, and that’s what people continually fail to see. Twitter is not a traditional social network. I reiterate, it is not for everyone!

The smart folks at Twitter seem aware of common cynicism. Their About Us page really answers it all. Essentially, it comes down to personal needs. I’m looking for traffic by any means possible and I don’t want to waste a penny. Have I had increased traffic because of Twitter? Slightly. But like so many other users, I’m still trying to find ways to make it work. And if I find it’s ineffective, I’ll just get rid of it. That’s the beauty of this and any other communications service — you don’t like it, leave.

One thought on “My First, Last and Only Twitter Rant

  1. For me personally, twitter has been the most useful social media. I don’t use it for promoting my business. I follow people I think are smart and interesting, which, of course, means they are interested in the same things as me. I’ve lost count of the times I have had an idea for an article or a new grant proposal from someone on twitter, or had someone make a comment that led me to a web page that went into my lecture or article or proposal to make it better.

    I have been told often that I am not a very fun person (mostly by my children). The Facebook games bore me and I like to see pictures of my friends’ grandchildren but not their college age children passed out drunk.

    I don’t know who said this but it fits my opinion

    Facebook is the people you went to school with. Twitter is the people you wish you went to school with.

    I don’t get the “I’m boring” argument some people make How can a person be too boring to write 140 characters about but not too boring that people wouldn’t want to read 1,000 words (around 5,000 characters) of their ideas in a blog ? 5,000 is bigger than 140 . Someone needs to explain this to them.

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