I’ve now been part of the Twitter community for about two weeks so I think it’s about time that I give my impressions of the medium.
So far, I’ve seen a few different styles of twittering:
- One one extreme end are people that treat it like a blog entry. They make good use of the 140 characters, they remain on topic and they tweet a few times a day.
- On the extreme, there are people who tweet constantly on various topics, some mundane, some insightful. You may get 25-50 tweets a day from these people.
Within those extremes there are also divisions between personal and professional tweets. I consider a personal tweet to be a message that deals with their personal life, or what they ate for breakfast. Of course, (like blogs) there’s a large contingent that mingles these two types.
I think that the 140 character limit is a good thing, it makes you choose your words in order to convey your point succinctly. I spent a good 3-4 minutes rearranging my points to be clearer due to this limit.
I also like being to quickly browse the people I’m following and get an idea of what they are up at at a ‘grassroots’ level. There’s a personal level of interaction you can feel when you read tweets. They’re less polished and more real.
I’m going to call twitter the great internet icebreaker. I can now start to forge relationships with the people that I follow that I likely would never have had the chance to meet via other channels.
Lots of bots out there expanding the functionality of twitter. You’ve got TweetScan that will let you search the universe of tweets for keywords. TweetClouds if you are into the whole blog tag-cloud thing. HashTags to allow you to mark your tweets to an overall topic that anyone can contribute to.
The clients for twitter are pretty rudimentary so far, just presenting your following tweets as an ordered list. This means you have to beware the volume twitter friends, they can land up pushing interesting contents right out of your view.
Twitter can also become a distraction if you allow the client to push notifications in front of other windows. There’s been numerous studies about the effect of context switching and the time that is wasted attempting to resume ‘where you left off’.
There’s too many people that are unfocused as to their purpose for being on twitter. Is it to spark ideas in your social community or to laugh at the latest faildog? When you land up combining both in the same account, you dilute your insightful posts.
If I do want to get into a discussion with someone from Twitter, I have to move to another channel. It would be interesting to add a layer of direct messaging that removed the 140 char limitation but kept us on the twitter network.
‘danZrobok‘ twittering style
I guess you can say that ‘danZrobok‘ is the brand that I’m trying to establish with the blog and the twitter account. I prefer following accounts that attempt to stick to a certain topic that deals with Business Intergration, SOA and Web 2.0. The tweets that I write for this account will attempt to stay on this topic as well. I shoot for around 2-3 focused updates a day and to keep the ‘social’ type twitters to a minimum.
Overall, I’m impressed with it and I think it’s another great tool for building your social network. If you are reading this and not a part of twitter, you may be missing out of most of the value that occurs before mass adoption when the people who tweet become more jaded to the network.