To tweet or not to tweet?

29 April, 2008

I have been aware of twitter for about 6 or 8 months now. I have generally felt it isn’t really for me. I mean what do I care what my friends had for breakfast? Lately though I have read the blog accounts of a couple of new ‘twitterers’ that have got me thinking maybe I should not dismiss it off hand.

Ray Sims posted account of his early twitter usage and Richard Dennison has also recently posted about his ‘conversion’. The one that really got me thinking is Jeremiah Owyang’s post about using twitter for real time feedback during a conference session (his twitter is my social computer post was pretty compelling too). I love this idea as it really allows a presenter to connect with and engage a large audience in a much richer way than before.

So my interest has been aroused, but now I am wondering a few different things:

1.    Won’t it become just another distraction? Between the various social networks, blogs and discussion forums I read / check / comment on I don’t know where the time comes from.

2.    I don’t know anyone who uses twitter, my friends and family are only just warming to Facebook and Blogging, as a result I’m not really sure where I would start in ‘network building’.

3.    Even if I did find a bunch of people to connect with, are they going to tell me anything I can’t find on blogs or social networks?

4.    If I did manage to find a bunch of people who can tell me loads of interesting things am I ever going to get any work done?

I started writing this post last night on the tram then put it aside it before posting. Funnily enough this morning I stumbled upon Mary Abraham’s account of her Twitter interest being aroused by the recent case of an American student who was arrested in Egypt and was able to alert friends to his situation via Twitter. That is another interesting story about Twitter but I think the most compelling example I have come across so far is this account of how the Anecdote team make use of Twitter. Twittering with a small team of people I know is a use that I can relate to, I’m also really keen on the idea of using it in a conference setting.

I may find a use for Twitter in my life yet…

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4 Responses to “To tweet or not to tweet?”

  1. maxelsen Says:

    Mick

    There is a lot of fascination about Twitter, I’m yet to be convinced in some ways. At the moment I’m a twitter-stalker and it’s a great tool to do a microblog update on my websites http://www.michealaxelsen.com and http://www.appliedinsight.com.au.

    Scoble has a lot to say about Twitter but I don’t know about the substantive nature of it – really are there going to be pearls of wisdom out there? See my post on my blog at http://michealaxelsen.com/blog/?p=252.

  2. micktl Says:

    Hey Michael,

    How many people do you follow on Twitter and have you found many people following you? The people who seem to get the most out of it have masses of people following them that they can ask questions of or talk through problems.

    I think that is the key, this blog does not get huge traffic, but the writing is about me and my own learning so it does not really matter.

    I wonder if the power of twitter is in the followers and the ability to have an ‘always on’ connection with people around the world?


  3. A lot of people seem to treat as just like IM with the ability to have one-sided but public conversations. I follow 8 people and have 18 followers. I follow a couple that are prolific twitterers like Zadi Diaz and Casey McKinnon (Vlogstars), but I personally don’t see how you can realistically follow 300 or so people (or Scoble’s 21,000 people). I don’t see the point.

    I think the power of twitter is possibly the different number of devices you can use to send a post (phone, different clients, Mac, PC, Linux, etc) as well as having all those people on tap.

    I’ve had a few people (complete randoms) contact me about tweets I’ve made on topics.

    Thanks: Micheal Axelsen

  4. micktl Says:

    That’s true, I have recently started using Google Talk on my mobile via Fring. The ability to continue a conversation once I get up and head home is great!

    I like the idea of a connection to a network, but I am very weary of being overloaded with info…. I might just have to join up and give it a go.
    cheers
    m


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