08 July 2011

Twitter – is it just me?

I’m still struggling to work out the point of Twitter – what it’s giving me that I’m not already getting elsewhere, and in a much more useful way. I acknowledge that it ‘works’ – that information flies around the world as an event is happening. I also understand that it raises the profile of people, products and organizations as well. I’m not arguing with the statistics.

My struggle to engage is on a more emotional level – and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I feel as if I’m in one of those TV game shows where the host reveals a picture a bit at a time and the contestants have to try to work out what it is. Too much of it is still covered up for me to have a clear idea. So my question is... what am I missing?

I revisited my Twitter account this afternoon, fully intending to tweet something. Anything would do, because in all the time I’ve been able to, I’ve sent the grand total of 15 tweets. This wouldn’t be a large number if I’d started last week – but I started in August 2009, feeling that I really ought to do this, as a technical author who writes about (and teaches) technology!

Before diving in, I thought first I’d better find out what others were saying, so I spent a bit of time glancing through the recent tweets from a few of those I follow. For the most part, I didn’t have a clue what they were talking about. Many were obviously responses to earlier stuff, but there’s a limit to how much effort I’m going to put into catching up. Some had links to blog posts and websites. I followed one or two – those that were clearly labelled and I had an idea that I’d be interested when I got there. (This is about the only use of Twitter that I ‘get’, but even then, I’m sure I miss some gems because they are buried so deeply.)

Perhaps my problem is that I don’t get the tweets to my phone. I tried it for a while, but it drove me mad. Nothing urgent will ever be sent to me via Twitter, and it’s difficult enough dealing with the text messages and emails, without adding Twitter to the mix.

Did I tweet? No... couldn’t think of a single thing I wanted to say.

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